A cup is an open-top container used to hold liquids for pouring or drinking, or solids that can be poured (e.g. sugar or flour).  Made of clay, wood, stone, glass, metal, china, plastic, or other materials, and sometimes fixed with a stem, handles, or other adornments, cups of different styles may be used for different liquids or other foodstuffs (e.g. teacups and measuring cups), in different situations (e.g. at water stations or in ceremonies and rituals), or for decoration. 
- 1 History
- 2 Cultural significance and use of cups
- 3 Types
- 4 Gallery
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Cups are an obvious improvement on using cupped hands to hold liquids. They have almost certainly been used since before recorded history, and have been found at archaeological sites throughout the world. Prehistoric cups were sometimes fashioned from shells and hollowed out stones.
There is evidence the Roman Empire may have spread the use of cups throughout Europe, with notable examples including silver cups in Wales and a color-changing glass cup in ancient Thrace. In England, cups have been discovered which date back to several thousand years, including the Rillaton Gold Cup, about 3,700 years old. Cups were used in the Americas several centuries prior to the European arrivals. Around the Gulf of Mexico, Native American societies used the Horse conch for drinking cups, among other purposes.
Cultural significance and use of cups
Since cups have been an integral part of dining since time immemorial, they have become a valued part of human culture. The shape or image of a cup appears in various places in human cultures.
Cultural use and connotation
The King's cup
Historically, monarchs have been concerned about assassination via poisoning. To avoid this fate, they often used dedicated cups, with cup-bearers to guard them. A "divining cup" was supposed to be able to detect poison. In the Bible, Joseph interpreted a dream for Pharaoh's cup-bearer, and a silver divining cup played a key role in his reconciliation with his brothers.
The measuring cup, an adaptation of a simple cup, is a standard tool in cooking that has been in use at least as far back as Roman times. Apart from serving as drinking vessels, cups can be used as an alternative to bowls as a receptacle, especially, for soup. Recipes have been published for cooking various dishes in cups in the microwave.
Drinking from a cup is a significant step on a baby's path to becoming a toddler; it is recommended that children switch from bottles to cups between six months and one year of age. Sippy cups are typically used for this transition.
Many trophies take the form of a large, decorated cup. In cases such as the FIFA World Cup and the Stanley Cup, the competition itself may grow to take on the name of the trophy that is awarded to the winner. Owing to the common usage of cup-shaped trophies as prizes for the winners, a large number of national and international competitions are called "cups".
In Tarot divination, the suit of cups is associated with the element of water and is regarded as symbolizing emotion, intuition, and the soul. Cards that feature cups are often associated with love, relationships, fears, and desires.
Various cups have been designed so that drinking out of them without spilling is a challenge. These are called puzzle cups.
In the developed world, cups are often distributed for promotional purposes. For example, a corporation might distribute cups with their logo at a trade show, or a city might hand out cups with slogans promoting recycling. There are companies that provide the service of printing slogans on cups.
Cups for hot beverages
Disposable cups are intended to be used only once. They are often used by fast-food restaurants and coffee shops to serve beverages. Institutions that provide drinking water, such as offices and hospitals, may also use disposable cups for sanitary reasons.
Cups for alcoholic beverages
- Producer Chris. "Radio 1 Movies Blog: Who Drank From This?". BBC. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- "Cup - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Merriam-webster.com. August 31, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- "Cup | Define Cup at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- "What Are the Different Types of Coffee Cups? (with pictures)". Wisegeek.com. January 18, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- Rigby 2003: p. 573–574.
- Examples include a hollowed stone used to hold pigment for cave painting (see History of technology), and mussel shells used to hold cosmetics, examples of which have been found in Egyptian burial sites
- "Roman Cup - Archaeology Magazine Archive". Archaeology. March–April 2004. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- Merali, Zeeya (September 2013). "This 1,600-Year-Old Goblet Shows that the Romans Were Nanotechnology Pioneers". Smithsonian. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- Norton, Elizabeth (August 6, 2012). "Starbucks of Ancient America?". ScienceNOW. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- Atlantic City Aquarium, Horse conch. Accessed April 26, 2014
- Chan, Casey (July 3, 2013). "The Red Solo Cup Gets Classy". Gizmodo. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- "Genesis 40 ESV - Joseph Interprets Two Prisoners' Dreams". Bible Gateway. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- Kuchyňová, Zdeňka (2 May 2008). "Lázeňský pohárek - typicky česká záležitost" (in Czech). Czech Radio. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "Are You Drinking of the Master's Cup?". Cgg.org. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- "Coffee Cup Quiche". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- "Introducing a cup: 8 months and over". Heinz For Baby. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- Last reviewed: July 2012 (January 1, 2000). "How can I encourage my toddler to drink from a cup?". BabyCentre. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- "'win the cup' Google news search". Google. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- Burger, Evelin; Johannes Fiebig (2004). Tarot Basics. New York: Sterling. p. 76. ISBN 1402730403.
- Tarantino, P.C. (2007). Tarot for the New Aeon. Pebble Beach, CA: Alternative Insights. pp. 245–246. ISBN 0976618400.
- Ziegler, Gerd (1988). Tarot: Mirror of the Soul: Handbook for the Aleister Crowley Tarot. York Beach, Maine: S. Weiser. p. 191. ISBN 0877286833.
- "The Cup Game". Great Group Games. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- "Custom Promotional Cups, Branded Plastic and Paper Cups". Custom On It. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- Ashby, Michael F. (2016-09-23). Materials Selection in Mechanical Design. Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 9780081006108.
- McClenehan, Robert L. Some Scottish Quaichs. Illinois, 1955, p. 3.
- Rigby, Stephen Henry (2003). A Companion to Britain in the Later Middle Ages (Illustrated ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-21785-5.