Talk:Garden fork

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Requested move[edit]

I raised a query about the term "spading fork", resulting in provision of refs by User: Dieter Simon. One of those refs uses the term "spading" for what I (and I believe all other Brits) would call digging, thus making some sense of the term. I think this ref is a North American one – so the question is, is "spading fork" the usual North American name? Even if it is, are the names "digging fork" or "garden fork" also used? If they are, one of those might be better as the title of the article, as they would be more readily recognised in British English. If on the other hand "spading fork" is the only American name, then we could leave the title as it is, and have redirects from the others. --Richard New Forest (talk) 10:45, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I do agree with you. In fact, hadn't realised this was redirected from the original "garden fork". All I was intent on was that there should be at least some kind of sourcing. It is certainly an Americanism, and should have been picked up straight away when it was renamed. I suggest that we put it up for a vote to rename it to the original much more common name "garden fork". This kind of things is happening far too often that British words and terms are being changed willy-nilly to American words.
Vote for renaming "garden fork", which is the original name of the article. Dieter Simon (talk) 00:33, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Vote for Garden Fork which is what I, in California, have heard it called. rkmlai (talk) 17:23, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Never, ever seen "spading fork", 99% of the times I've seen it as "garden fork" (and the other times as graip). Move seems sensible. Knepflerle (talk) 00:47, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't know either term. Let's call it a potato fork. Why is that red? Gene Nygaard (talk) 14:39, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
No, a potato fork is a different thing again; it has broader, flat prongs so as not to "stab" the potatoes as you insert the fork gently alongside the potatoes and lift them out.Dieter Simon (talk) 01:00, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
A potato fork is a kind of garden fork, but is certainly not the right name for the more general tool. It needs to be mentioned (and currently it is) but I don't think it deserves an article of its own. Potato fork should be a redirect to whatever this article ends up being called.
Gene – you say you don't know either term... Not quite clear which "either" you mean? What do you call the tool (and where are you from)? (It's a red-link because you've linked to an article which does not yet exist).--Richard New Forest (talk) 10:17, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I call it a "potato fork". That's a redlink because a redirect is missing; the article exists—it's right here. Just Google the phrase "potato fork".[1] Gene Nygaard (talk) 11:33, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
You may, of course, be correct that other terms such as garden fork will be applied to tools which wouldn't be called potato forks. I don't know that there is any sort of universal terminology for such a group of tools; in other words, I don't know that there is any good reason for the proposed move. One term seems to be as good as the other. I'll just create the redirect; if the article is moved, it will have to be fixed in the normal removing of double redirects you are prompted to do every time you make a move. Gene Nygaard (talk) 11:41, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd call it a garden fork, and this article seems to have been a cut-and-paste move from that title, almost a year ago now. It should be moved back IMO, and a rather delicate history merge would be the ideal. Andrewa (talk) 13:05, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Gene – sorry to be dense, but I'm still not quite clear. You use the term "potato fork" – but do you use it only for what I'd call a potato fork (as described by Dieter, with broad, flat tines), or more generally for any digging fork? In other words (in your usage) is "potato fork" a particular type of garden/digging/whatever fork, or is it your name for all types of these forks? And what region is your usage from? The potato forks in the Google search you linked are all "proper" potato forks, as per UK usage (notice the various border forks, digging forks etc also listed on most of the pages).
What we need is the most universal term. The current name is not universal, because it would not be recognised easily in Britain (and perhaps elsewhere). "Potato fork" is not universal because that is a particular type of the implement, at least in some regions. "Digging fork" or "garden fork" are the best candidates so far – I think what we need to establish is whether either or both of these are more universal than the existing name. --Richard New Forest (talk) 15:26, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, "digging fork" or preferably "garden fork" is best. I have both a "potato fork" and a "garden fork" at home. As it so happens I am in the process of replacing some very consistently chalky soil/subsoil with good humus, and digging this out with the "garden fork" with its robust square-profile sharp tines is much easier while it would be almost impossible with the "potato fork" with its broad flat tines. Chalk has largish lumps of flint embedded in it and penetrating (and by-passing) the lumps with the pointed tines of "g.f." is easy, whereas a "p.f." hits the lumps like a spade and gets stuck. But dig out the much more superficially placed potatoes with the broad blades of a "p.f." and you are well away, you catch even the little ones. Sorry I am going on about this a bit but I am trying to make this as tangible as possible. Dieter Simon (talk) 01:08, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
After doing a little bit of digging it seems that the correct term is "garden spading fork". Garden fork gets 68,000 hits, Spading fork 23,300, but I would suggest leaving the name as "spading fork" with a redirect from "garden fork", which is an abbreviation for the full name. (talk) 06:23, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
The trouble with "spading fork" is that it's not universal. The term "garden spading fork" is not universal either. If spading fork was the only American term, we'd have a simple American/British/(Australian etc) split, and we'd just be choosing between different local terms. However, if (as it appears) "garden fork" is widely recognised in America, then that is the better term, as it is also immediately recognisable to British eyes. For Americans, it would be an obvious abbreviation or an alternative, for Brits, it would be the proper name. "Spading fork" may be clear to Americans, but is meaningless to Brits. However, I don't know what is used in Australia, Ireland etc.
I think the root of this is the use of "spading" to mean digging. In Britain we'd never do this, and if we heard it we'd assume it was limited to digging with a spade. "Forking" is however used quite often, for digging with a fork. "Forking fork"? Perhaps not... --Richard New Forest (talk) 10:34, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

As far as I know they are referred to garden forks, which is the term I use. Have never heard of a spading fork. A spade here is a narrow form of a shovel and more prone to bending. Cgoodwin (talk) 11:20, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

In fifty years of gardening in Australia, I have never heard of a spading fork until now. Garden fork is the term used in Sydney. Spading fork is a very good name for the implement, but it's not what it's called, hereabouts at least. Andrewa (talk) 21:50, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Here in England, a shovel's blade has bent-up sides and is at somewhat of an angle on the handle and is used for scooping; a spade has a completely flat blade. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 11:51, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
In that case I would support moving to garden spade and request that the old history be recovered, and request that the RM be closed. (talk) 16:27, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Do you mean to garden fork? Andrewa (talk) 21:50, 23 March 2008 (UTC)


As a foreigner, I'm trying very hard to imagine what kind of tool this is, but it's very difficult from the description. I'd really love to see a picture in this article! I think that one of the Swedish words are cross-referenced to the wrong tool in the English Wikipedia, but I can't be sure without any pictures. // Pipatron (talk) 18:30, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Have a look at this: [2] --Richard New Forest (talk) 21:22, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. Changed the "Grep" article on the Swedish Wikipedia to point here instead of Pitchfork as it used to point to. Obviously the words "Grep" and "Graip" are very similar as well. // Pipatron (talk) 12:12, 1 April 2008 (UTC)