¿Cómo se dice SPORK?


Over the weekend we got some takeout food for dinner. At home, I dumped the bag of sauce packets, napkins and plastic utensils onto the table.

“Hand me one of those forks, please,” Carlos said.
“It’s not a fork,” I said, holding it up.
“Hand me… one of those thingies,” he said.

(Carlos’s English includes the word “thingies” since apparently I say that a lot.)

“It’s called a ‘spork’ – It’s a spoon-fork, see?” I handed the plastic utensil to him.
“Spork, okay,” he said, taking it from me, more eager to eat than to get a vocabulary lesson.

I took a bite of my food and chewed thoughtfully.

“How do you say ‘spork’ in Spanish?” I asked.
“You don’t,” Carlos answered.
“There’s no word for ‘spork’?”
“Oh!” I became excited. “Hold on, okay, let’s see… In Spanish, ‘spoon’ is ‘cuchara’ and ‘fork’ is ‘tenedor’ so a spork could be… CUCHADOR!”

I fell in love with the new word immediately.

“You can’t do that,” Carlos said.
“You can’t just make words up.”
“I just did! This is a cuchador! And I’m going to go tell the whole internet!”

After dinner I went online and typed “How do you say ‘spork’ in Spanish?” just to make sure Carlos was right, that there wasn’t already a word that existed. To my amusement, Carlos was wrong and there is actually already a word… and it’s ‘cuchador.’ I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t invent a new word, but I’m impressed that my bilingual brain came up with the correct word by putting together what it already knows. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a try!


  1. ¿Cuchador EXISTE?? Primera vez que lo oigo!! Sería interesante averigüar más. Me late que es una traducción forzada del spork del inglés y no una palabra original española. Tendrá un nombre ese utensillio auténticamente en español? Quizás, yo diría, un cucharón dentado? …jaja, no sé… yo estoy con Carlos en esto.

    • “Cuchador” is not in RAE, so yes, it’s slang (but for me, it’s still a word if people use it.) … The alternative word is “tenedor-cuchara.”

  2. Lol at “I’m going to tell the whole internet!”. Don’t latinos make up words all the time, though? My boyfriend’s Honduran and there “chele” means blond and “chamba” means job. Other weird stuff like “chinguin” for kids and “floja” means “slutty” instead of “lazy” (which is what it means everywhere else in Latin America) or “cheque” used as ‘ok’. None of those are in any dictionary, and even other Spanish speakers have trouble understanding it. That’s the beauty of Spanish – it’s so different from country to country, and you can get creative with words.

    I remember being around a bunch of Chileans and I exclaimed “pucha!”. In Honduras, it means “damn!”. Apparently, in Chile, it’s slang for ‘vagina’. Whoops!

    • Jajajaja! Great story!

      Yes, you’re right, Spanish-speakers make words up all the time, (Carlos included!) – I should have told him that!

  3. Cuchador sounds like the name of a mexican wrestler, lol. Great website, your sister just showed it to me and I love it. I am a newlywed married to a colombian and find a lot of comfort in your posts. :)

  4. I like “cuchador,” but since there are so many other Spanish words that end in “-ador,” I think I might prefer “tenechara” or “tenchara.” : ) ¡Ambos sirven, sigún yo!

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