spoony

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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spoony

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:21 pm

<2017 “‘But every author can taste the poison another has slipped into the punch,’ and the critic ended by calling Arthur ‘a magniloquent spoony.”—New York Times Book Review>

Here’s the word that ‘magniloquent' modified in my previous posting and I would classify it as archaic.

Merriam-Webster.com

spoony: noun and adjective

1) A person who is silly, foolish; especially: unduly sentimental.

2) A person who is sentimentally in love.

Etymology

In 19th-century British slang, spoon meant "simpleton” (a meaning that may have been influenced by the "shallowness" of some spoons). That use of "spoon" brought about the adjective "spoony" to describe a silly or foolish person. In time, the foolish manner implied by "spoony" began to take on sentimental and amorous overtones, and it soon became the perfect word for those foolishly head over heels in love. Another "spoon" is a verb referring to love-making or necking. That use of "spoon" may stem from a Welsh custom in which an engaged man presented his fiancé with an elaborately carved wooden spoon.

First known use: circa 1795
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The following quotes are from Oxford English Dictionary and archived sources:
<1795 “Spoony, a foolish pretending fellow.”—A New Dictionary of all the Cant and Languages, both Ancient and Modern by H. T. Potter>

<1847 “What the deuce can she find in that spoony of a Pitt Crawley?”—Vanity Fair (1848) by Thackeray, xxxiv, page 301>

<1878 “Pen calls him a spoony, and ridicules him unmercifully.”— Chaperon's Cares by M. C. Jackson, I. v. page 57>

<1989 “She voices wariness of a patient getting ‘spoony’ around her . . .”—Chicago Sun-Times (Illinois), 24 September>

<1999 “He sends his wife a single cello-phaned red rose every Friday and she calls him ‘my spoony old thing.’”—Daily Mail (London), 27 August>

<2013 “‘And in that consecrated spot, she and I sat and talked until late in the evening,’ he writes, as if he were some spoony undergraduate who had been desperately hoping to get off with her.”—New Statesman (1996), 13 December>

<2017 “I posit that, in effect, gamers too often become spoony, foolishly enamored with their video game machines, sentimentally—and unduly—attached to them and singing their praises far and wide for anyone to hear.”—Super Power, Spoony Bards, and Silverware: The Super Nintendo Entertainment System by D. Arsenault, page 9>
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Ken Greenwald — April 25, 2018
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Re: spoony

Post by trolley » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:10 pm

"Another "spoon" is a verb referring to love-making or necking. That use of "spoon" may stem from a Welsh custom in which an engaged man presented his fiancé with an elaborately carved wooden spoon."


I am surprised that they went all the way to Wales to come up with that "may stem from". It's easier to imagine that it comes from the way two spoons fit together when they are nestled.
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Re: spoony

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:43 pm

trolley wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:10 pm
I am surprised that they went all the way to Wales to come up with that "may stem from". It's easier to imagine that it comes from the way two spoons fit together when they are nestled.
That suggests a new connotation for the term 'spoon-fed'. :shock:
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Re: spoony

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:07 pm

I think that spooning in the cuddling sense is far more likely to come from the way that two spoons fit together rather than the Welsh lovespoon. It is true that they were given as love tokens, and in fact I have carved several in my time. I now make them in ceramic, the one I made Margaret is especially complex and took me a long time, because she is worth it!
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Re: spoony

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:08 pm

Any chance of you posting a picture of it on your blog and linking to it here, Bob? :)
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Re: spoony

Post by Bobinwales » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:06 pm

For some reason I can't upload the picture, but this link should take you to it.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/155026089 ... 906168172/
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Re: spoony

Post by trolley » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:52 pm

Nice work, Bob. Is there some significance to the attached "ball and chain"...other than the obvious? :lol:
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Re: spoony

Post by Bobinwales » Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:18 pm

There is indeed. The ball is actually three balls one inside the other. Margaret already had three children when we met and the chain has five links, she is one of five children.
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Re: spoony

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri May 04, 2018 5:18 pm

Having done a fair bit of sculpture in clay myself, Bob, I can appreciate just how much work went into executing that spoon so nicely, as well as the thought that went into its design. Well done! :D
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Re: spoony

Post by Bobinwales » Fri May 04, 2018 11:09 pm

Thank you. I am flattered.
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Re: spoony

Post by tony h » Tue May 08, 2018 7:13 pm

Bobinwales wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:07 pm
I think that spooning in the cuddling sense is far more likely to come from the way that two spoons fit together rather than ...
I mused over the choice of spoon in this phrase whilst returning items to the cutlery drawer.
Ours starts with the small spoon: the tease-spoon (OK, I know),
and then moves onto the spooning proper.
Then equally cuddled we would get the forks.
After the forking we move to the sharp criticism of the knife as in "you have been sleeping in the knife drawer".
Then it all ends with the dessert-spoon.
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I'm puzzled therefore I think.

Re: spoony

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue May 08, 2018 10:31 pm

Which is sometimes also the just deserts spoon...

Thanks for painting that amusing little scene for us, Tony. :D
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Re: spoony

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun May 13, 2018 5:05 am

Helo Bob. Rydych yn wir Caru Margaret. I bought a Love Spoon for you know who when I was in Wales. Yes it was ready made but I chose THAT one from all the different ones available.
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Re: spoony

Post by Bobinwales » Sun May 13, 2018 5:46 pm

And quite right too WoZ.
Nice to have you back.
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End of topic.
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