A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from March 05, 2020
“A tablespoon is to eat tables with”

Why is it called a tablespoon? “A tablespoon is to eat a table with” was printed in the book A Hole Is to Dig: A First Book of First Definitions (1952) by Ruth Krauss.

“Why is it called a ‘tablespoon’? Is no other spoon fit to be on the table? What’s with the utensil supremacy?” was posted on Twitter by Maggy Castellaneta on October 13, 2008. “I get the concept of a teaspoon, but tablespoon… should I eat a table with it? #3AMthoughts #mindfuck” was posted on Twitter by Jonathan Valentin on July 6, 2012. “Why is it called tablespoon when it is not made of tables, nor do you use it to eat tables?” was posted on Twitter by brotherly manlet on July 1, 2018.

“I do use a crab fork when eating crabs, a salad fork when eating salads, a teaspoon while sipping tea, and a tablespoon to eat tables so I do understand” was posted on Twitter by Don’t Bother Me, I’m Armed on November 11, 2019.


Wikipedia: Tablespoon
A tablespoon is a large spoon used for serving. In many English-speaking regions, the term now refers to a large spoon used for serving, however, in some regions, including parts of Canada, it is the largest type of spoon used for eating.

By extension, the term is also used as a cooking measure of volume. In this capacity, it is most commonly abbreviated tbsp. or T., and occasionally referred to as a tablespoonful to distinguish it from the utensil. The unit of measurement varies by region: a United States tablespoon is approximately 14.8 mL (0.50 US fl oz), a United Kingdom and Canadian tablespoon is exactly 15 mL (0.51 US fl oz), and an Australian tablespoon is 20 mL (0.68 US fl oz). The capacity of the utensil (as opposed to the measurement) is defined by neither law nor custom, and it may, or not, significantly approximate the measurement.

OCLC WorldCat record
A hole is to dig : a first book of first definitions.
Author: Ruth Krauss
Publisher: S.l : Harper & Row, 1952.
Edition/Format: Print book : Dutch

Newspapers.com
8 April 1954, Humboldt (CA) Standard, “New Books For Children In City Library,” pg. 12, col. 8:
New books in the library for very young children are “Jingle Jangle” a book full of rhymes for the very young by Zenya Gay, and “A Hole Is To Dig, A First Book for Definitions.” Here are some examples of definitions as expressed by the child, himself: A tablespoon is to eat a table with; rugs are so dogs have napkins; cats are so you can have kittens.

Twitter
Maggy Castellaneta
@SupaMagg
Why is it called a ‘tablespoon’? Is no other spoon fit to be on the table? What’s with the utensil supremacy?
1:16 PM · Oct 13, 2008·Twitter SMS

Twitter
Alice Bartlett
@alicebartlett
“A tablespoon is to eat a table with” -A Hole is to Dig
7:53 AM · Nov 5, 2010·Twitterrific for Mac

Twitter
Hatch Modern
@dianacmercer
A tablespoon is to eat a table with.  http://elephantjournal.com/2011/06/a-hole-is-to-dig-and-other-simple-truths/
1:37 AM · Jun 8, 2011·Twitter for Websites

Twitter
Jonathan Valentin
@NuYoRiiCan
I get the concept of a teaspoon, but tablespoon… should I eat a table with it? #3AMthoughts #mindfuck
3:28 AM · Jul 6, 2012·Twitter for Android

Twitter
𝔯𝔞𝔧
@vaidyeah33
now i get why they’re called tablespoons and teaspoons. since tables are bigger than tea, that’s why the bigger spoon is called a tablespoon
12:21 AM · Mar 20, 2013·Twitter Web Client

Twittter
Squid
@hexadecaSquid
A tablespoon is to eat a table with.
1:46 PM · Jul 8, 2013·Twitter SMS

Twitter
Will Someone
@eb3c90
Replying to @ThisIsJoFrank
@ThisIsJoFrank @unnamedculprit Come to think of it I’ve never managed to eat a table with a tablespoon.
2:34 AM · Nov 13, 2013·Twitter Web App

Twitter
Will Hains
@willhains
Replying to @AdamSwinden
@AdamSwinden While we’re at it, why is the big one called a TABLEspoon? Surely its primary function isn’t stirring tables.
4:05 PM · Jan 30, 2014·Tweetbot for Mac

Twitter
Chris Dyck
@chriscrossthree
“A tablespoon is to eat a table with.” Yes, picturebook, you’re doing it right, haha #ENGL355
11:30 AM · Mar 26, 2014·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
bill
@premlumcontent
Its called a tablespoon because its the size of a damn table.
11:39 AM · Nov 23, 2017·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
brotherly manlet
@brormanis
why is it called tablespoon when it is not made of tables, nor do you use it to eat tables?
4:45 PM · Jul 1, 2018·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Jay
@CornyJigga
it’s called a teaspoon cause you drink tea with it but why is it called a tablespoon since you don’t use it to eat tables
2:47 AM · Aug 29, 2018·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Vojtech Matula
@goro_cz
Replying to @TylerGlaiel
(Jerry Seinfeld voice) Why is it even called a tablespoon in the first place? You don’t use it to eat tables, you eat off them! Just like with any other spoon!
10:39 AM · Dec 5, 2018·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Don’t Bother Me, I’m Armed
@vinylbeerrum
Replying to @WheelTod and @Pork_Chop_Hair
I do use a crab fork when eating crabs, a salad fork when eating salads, a teaspoon while sipping tea, and a tablespoon to eat tables so I do understand
10:59 AM · Nov 11, 2019·Twitter for iPhone

Reddit—3amjokes
Posted by u/TommehBoi March 21, 2020
I recently bought a new tablespoon.
I mean, it’s good, but I still can’t eat any tables with it.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, March 05, 2020 • Permalink