Wednesday, March 25, 2009

answer without googling...

tonight this was a topic of argument over dinner with kara and james. kara and tim agreed on one thing and james and i on the other. a phone call to judy was put in. but i think we all may be wrong on this one.

what do you call this?

then what do you call this?


Megan Thiessen said...

I'd call the first one a flipper (though I'm sure that's not it's technical name) & the second one a spatula.

Margaret said...

I definitely call them both spatulas; I realize this is a conflict of interest, one which I have yet to resolve.

jan said...

flipper .. spatula

theRachel said...

I am right there with Megan and Jan...though the same thought ran through my mind about the so-called flipper - what is it's technical name?

As for the spatula, I only use this word to describe items that look like the one in the bottom picture.

Alyssa said...

I call them both a spatula as well. But if I asked for a spatula, and was handed the second when I wanted the first, I'd clarify by saying 'no, I meant a flipper'.

jan said...

bec - found this story online when i was trying to find the technical name for a flipper ..


Embracing my own stupidity

Posted in life with dave at 8:14 pm by mamatulip
“Pass me a spatula, please.”

I was standing at the counter pouring my third (fourth? fifth? Cripes, who’s counting anymore?) cup of coffee. Dave was making the only thing that Julia wants to eat for lunch, ever: soup and grilled cheese, the latter of which was sizzling away in the frying pan.

I reached over, plucked a spatula from the utensil holder and handed it to him.

He looked at my outstretched hand, rolled his eyes and sighed. “No, babe. I said a spatula.”

The Great Spatula Debate is a longstanding one between us. Before meeting Dave, I’d never met anyone who considered a flipper to be the same as a spatula.

I gaped at him. “This is a spatula.”

“No, it’s not. I want a spat-u-la.”

“This is a SPAT-U-LA.”

Smoke was starting to waft up from the frying pan. Dave glanced at Julia’s burning lunch before quickly turning his attention back to me. “What utensil would you use to flip this?”

I grabbed a flipper and held it up. “I’d use a flipper,” I said matter-of-factly.

He laughed. “A flipper? As in dolphin?”

“No, moron. As in pancake.”

You know that kind of incredulous feeling that hits you when you learn something that really, given your age and level of intelligence, you should already know? Something so basic and general that it’s probably included in the Grade Two curriculum; something that, once you are made aware of it, you wonder first how the hell you managed to get this far in life without having this knowledge and second, how much of a moron people with whom you have discussed it with in the past think you are?


In the twenty-eight years I’ve graced this green earth, I have always referred to one of these as a flipper. I’ve never called it a spatula, ever, and have always laughed in the faces of those who have, those poor, lowly idiots. Up until today I was convinced that spatulas and flippers were completely different kinds of kitchen utensils. So devout was I in my belief that I quite seriously considered making a beeline for the Housewares aisles at Wal*Mart this afternoon, camera phone in hand, to gain photo evidence of these two separately packaged and marketed utensils and to prove my husband wrong once and for all.

Yet all I really needed to do was Google the word spatula. Out of 24,000 results, the vast majority of pictures were of what I have referred to as flippers my entire life. And when I Googled flipper, I didn’t get one single image of a kitchen utensil. All I got were images of dolphins.

theRachel said...

wow, that is a great article, Jan - offers some interesting perspective.

Tim said...

yes, we came to the conclusion that they are both spatulas. i've never called the first one a flipper but always referred to it as a spatula. but when questioned on what the second would be, i couldn't think of what i'd call it. but kudos to jan for the fantastic article. so good.

Sharelle said...

really late on the draw on this one, and it SOUNDS like its been resolved, but i would go with

a- flipper
b- spatula

i mean, they can't both have the SAME name. that doesn't work...

Margaret said...

Glad to know I'm justified in calling both 'spatula.'

Under His Wings said...

Sam and I would call the first one an egg flipper, and the second a spatula. I have also heard the first one called an egg turner, and my dad cals the second "the rubber scraper". So that's my two cents.

Anonymous said...

flipper thingy (burger flipper) and spatula.
hannah b