Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Sep 7 20:25:45 UTC 2009

At 9/7/2009 03:51 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 3:34 PM -0400 9/7/09, Mark Mandel wrote:
>>Looks like I've been using "flatware" to include silverware, which I'm
>>reluctant to call that when it isn't silver.

Nothing wrong with that; I do it myself.

>>m a m
>Well, if you want to get picky, it's not flat either, except for the

But certainly flatter than metallic (or ceramic) "hollow-ware", which
I assume is made from molds rather than flat blanks?


>And you could think of it as silver-colored, which it
>usually is, more or less...
>>On Mon, Sep 7, 2009 at 8:54 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
>>>  Here's what the OED says about "flatware":
>>>  flat-ware, (a) 'plates, dishes, saucers and the like, collectively,
>>>  as distinguished from hollow-ware' (Cent. Dict.); (b) (esp. U.S.)
>>>  domestic cutlery.
>>>  So by analogy from pottery to metal?
>>>  As an aside, this makes me wonder what "foreign cutlery" would
>>>  be.  (Purely rhetorical -- I do know they mean "home" as opposed to,
>>>  say, street switchblades or former prison spoons.)
>>  > Joel

The American Dialect Society -

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