Sharpy, Licky, and Mini Pitchfork

Romanian is an interesting and colorful language, but it’s actually quite rare to find an entire set of words that are strictly derived from Latin.

One such case involves everyday kitchen utensils.

Knife = cuțit

Spoon = linguriţă

Fork = furculiţă

The Romanian word for “knife” comes directly from the Latin term cotitus which means “sharpened” (Ro: ascuțit) from the Latin word cotis which means “whetstone” (Ro: tocilă).

Therefore, the Romanian word for “knife” effectively means sharpy.

The Romanian word for “spoon” comes from the Latin term lingula which is the diminutive form of “ligula,” which means “tongue”.

Therefore, the Romanian term for “spoon” is a perfect match for the Latin, literally “little tongue,” but I like to think of it as licky (“to lick” in Romanian is a linge from the same root).

Note: linguriţă is the most common form, but there’s also lingură which implies a bigger spoon.

Last, but definitely not least, both English and Romanian get their word for “fork” from Latin (furca). In modern Romanian, furcă means “pitchfork” so the diminutive “+iţă” literally means mini pitchfork.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. bla bla says:

    XYZ is right! :) Lingura is “spoon” and “lingurita” is “teaspoon”. OOPS! :)


  2. xyz says:

    You’re almost right..but:
    Lingura= Spoon
    Lingurita= Teaspoon
    Neither is more or less common, they’re simply different words for different things.


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