Until the 16th century, knives for eating and knives for hunting were the same. In the Middle Ages, it was customary to carry your own knife everywhere and use it for meals (a practice followed by Argentinian gauchos to this day). Many medieval knives have been dug up at the sites of crossing points over London's ancient ditches – probably because people dropped their cutlery as they jumped over them. The 6th Century AD Rule of St. Benedict reminded monks to take their knives off before they went to bed, in case of accidents.
Carving was a highly specialised trade and every joint and bird had to be cut a particular way. The 'Terms of a Kerver' was a 1508 document that gave the specialist terms for cutting up a variety of meats:
'Break that deer'
'Unbrace that mallard'
'Dismember that heron'
'Splat that pike'
'Splay that bream'
'Tame that crab'
'Disfigure that peacock'
The personal table fork wasn’t common in Europe until the 18th century. As late as 1799, some people still said they found forks unpleasant to use.
In the Tudor court, it was bad manners to use your knife to carry food to your mouth. The polite thing was to use your fingers. There were forks with two tines called 'sucket' forks but they were used exclusively for eating 'suckets', or sweetmeats. Forks were mainly used to hold the meat in place while carving.
Most people today have a slight overbite where the top incisors hang in front of the bottom ones. This only appeared in Western society about 250 years ago - before that, most humans had, like other primates (and like Richard III), teeth which fitted together 'edge-to-edge'. It seems that the overbite is not innate but results from the way we eat our food.
After analysing 19,000 skulls, anthropologist Charles Loring Brace concluded that the appearance of the overbite in Britain 250 years ago coincided with the time when it first became normal to cut food into little pieces with a knife and fork. Before then, eating involved gripping one end of a chunk of food in your teeth and tearing it off with your hand. If you eat like that, your incisors will be worn down and your other teeth will grow to meet perfectly. If you use forks, though, the incisors keep growing and give you an overbite.
The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork.
The term "runcible spoon" was coined by Edward Lear in the poem 'The Owl and the Pussycat'. Modern dictionaries generally define a runcible spoon to be a fork with three prongs, such as a pickle fork, which is curved like a spoon, and also has a cutting edge. In other words, a spork.
In 1952, Hyde W. Ballard of Westtown, Pennsylvania filed an application to register "Spork" as a trademark for a combination spoon and fork made of stainless steel, although there is no longer any record of this application at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
According to spork.org the way to turn your spork into a foon is to invert the bowl without breaking it. This is harder than it appears. The process of fooning is as follows: Place your thumb on the bottom curve of the spork Gently push in with the thumb until the spork is inverted If done properly, you may let go and the spork will retain it's foon shape
Is it progress if a cannibal uses a knife and fork?