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In the UK, the implement referred to in the picture and the bulk of the text is usually called a "fish slice", while "spatula" refers specifically to a rubber-headed/wooden-handled implement often used to scrape cake mix or a similar substance from a bowl. Is this worth mentioning in the article? If so, what's the best way to do it? Lancevortex 11:44, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)


How many people spell spatula 'SPATCHULA'. If you know any one please tell me

N.B. No-one actually spells spatula like the above-noted listing.

Titanium Spatulas[edit]

I've begun to add some important information about the risks and benefits of titanium spatulas. Just curious... Why was it never added??

What's "Ca2O4DHe6"? There is no element with symbol "D", and He (Helium) is inert and generally doesn't form compounds. Where did this chemical formula come from? --Arteitle 17:38, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
D is sometimes used in chemical formulas for Deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen with a neutron in the nucleus. :-) It's not very likely that it's what the writer meant though. --Apoc2400 11:30, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Chemistry spatula[edit]

Isn't there a lab tool that's also called a spatula? [1] You know we have a problem in our society when there's like 5 different things called spatulas. --Liface 05:36, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Apparently, "spatula" is just as general a term as "knife", is all, describing a general type of instrument (ironically, the article at current states that putty "knives" are a kind of spatula, heh). I do not think calling a spatula a spatula is a "problem in our society". A potential semantic problem, mind you, but hardly societal. ;) Runa27 06:17, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Titanium spatula is an excellent band name. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:28, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Not what I call a spatula[edit]

I've always been told (including by those who should know and by many a cook) that many of the things pictured in this article are not spatulas. Some are frosting devices which can be called a spatula, but the two on the ends (see picture) are pancake turners. And the thing I believe to be a spatula (long, thin, flexible, rounded corner blade for separating a cake from the pan) isn't even shown.

I agree. I think the sliding implements are turners or colloquially in the UK fish slice (old fashioned: trowel). A skimmer might appear similar. This page shows a 'spatula' as distinct from these other things: john lewis (2nd & 3rd from left) Hakluyt bean 23:17, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I also agree. As a matter of fact, the page itself references the Oxford and M-W dictionaries that make no mention of the device which is described (which is actually a pancake turner in US English). While "spatula" can be used for a few different devices, the one described in the article is often distinctly separate from what are generally called by that name. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
The thing pictured is not a spatula (as I understand the term). It is what I would call a fish slice, which isn't what I think of when I see the word spatula. A Spatula is a long thin implement with a rounded flexible end/blade used for spreading and scraping. A fish slice is used for turning fish (and used when cooking a full English breakfast!). I have never heard or seen the term Frying Scoop used in Britain, I assume that is an American term. --Alchemist Jack (talk) 10:52, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Agree. (talk) 14:49, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

In American English colloquilisms, the item pictured is known as a spatula, however, what is taught in schools is that a spatula is a thinner blade like implement for spreading or scraping.

In the u.k. the pictured item is known as a fish slice or egg lift. There is a subtle difference in the shapes between a fish slice and an egg lift, but I can not remember now at the top of my head which shape correlates to which name. Furthermore, I have zero idea where the idea that calling it a fish slice has its roots in the English class system. Preposterous suggestion and factually incorrect —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:14, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Actually, the term spatula for pancake turners (or egg turners, or just turners, for short) bothers many people over a wide swath of the US. The usage is relatively new nationally, having appeared and increased in popularity only during about the last 25-30 years, especially among urban and younger speakers. It probably was in use regionally before then, I'm guessing somewhere between Philadelphia and Boston. There's a strong undercurrent of resistance to this change, however, many still preferring turner since there are enough different types of "spatulas" already, the so-called "frosting" variety - not everyone thinks immediately of frosting when they see this tool - still being very widely recognized for this word in kitchens. Enough people prefer [pancake] turner in the US and in other English speaking countries (fish slice being identified as slang by many Britons) that I, for one, would strongly recommend moving this page to Turner or Pancake turner, as representing the best approximation to an international consensus.--IfYouDoIfYouDon't (talk) 05:12, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

I made a mistake in suggesting a complete page move. What I do think is needed is first of all a clear change to the "In the kitchen" section to show that very many Americans do not identify with spatula for the lifting/turning utensil, and the older usage [pancake/egg] turner is, for these speakers, still the clear preference. Secondly, I would recommend the creation of a separate Turner or Pancake turner page, as most of these same people (and many English speakers elsewhere in the world) do not even think of a pancake turner as a "spatula" at all. The present configuration is unacceptable because it is US-biased, to begin with, and in addition, even among Americans it is biased in favor of generally more urban and youthful speakers.--IfYouDoIfYouDon't (talk) 05:49, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
I cannot speak for the US but in the UK the word fish slice is still the most common name for the large flat bladed utensil. It has, to the best of my knowledge, never been considered slang, although its use has changed over the years. Martin Hogbin (talk) 09:01, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
I have never heard a pancake turner called a fish slice in the u.S., and i would hazard to guess that very few Americans would have any idea what one is.

in the '50s, both rubber bowl knives and pancake turners were both called spatulas in my Midwest experience -- and nothing else among the lay population. In the mid '60s, the Midwest bakery I worked at used only "rubber bowl knife" for scraper-type spatulas. Kdammers (talk) 13:36, 8 November 2016 (UTC)


I think that this should be made into a disambiguation page. There are so many things that are called spatulas (and that Americans call spatulas) that this article is confusing and doesn't really fully cover all of them. I made an article on fish slices (which could include some of the content from here) and it already mentions that the Americans call it a spatula. The other meanings of spatula could be covered in separate pages with titles specific to the type.

If it isn't separated, different sections could be added here to cover different types of spatulas.--Jcvamp 17:21, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

May I add one type of spatula for consideration that I have known since Nursery and Primary School school in the UK: the craft spatula. A basic one-piece moulded plastic stick with a thin, square-ended flexible blade. Used primarily for spreading liquid adhesives such as PVA glue. A picture is availble here of the perfect example (just so you know what I am referring to): Chiefmcbeef (talk) 01:34, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

The article is confusing[edit]

The first sentence of the article defines the term spatula as only the lifting device, which is too narrow. It then implies that anything called a spatula in US English is called a fish slice in British English, which is also inaccurate. I tried to fix this, but my edits were undone. 19:44, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


Anyone care to explain why oncologist is a related utensil? As in the doctor who studies cancer? Am I missing something here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stever Augustus (talkcontribs) 04:42, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Fish slice (UK) merger[edit]

I agree that Fish slice (UK) should be merged into this one, not least because that article seems to refer to a usage which no longer exists AFAIK. (talk) 21:08, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

It should be merged, but the usage of the term does still exist.--Jcvamp (talk) 01:20, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to add that if this page were called 'Spatula (cooking utensil)' or something similar, we wouldn't have to keep including awkward explanations about how the term isn't used to describe a kitchen implement in the UK, but does refer to other items called spatulas.--Jcvamp (talk) 01:36, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

It should not be merged, but only because "fish slice" is so common in the widely-read works of P. G. Wodehouse. Nowhere does Wodehouse either explain what a "fish slice" is, or explain that it is upper-class slang for a wedding gift. Therefore this Wikipedia entry is important to readers of Wodehouse. 10 June 2010 R. C. Chicago, IL —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:27, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

The two articles should not be merged as they are not the same item, are you adding Pallet knife too? would you mix the articles for Wok and frying pan? A spatula is a wooden implement mostly used for stirring in frying or a plastic item used for spreading mainly in baking. A fish slice is used for lifting or flipping not stirring or spreading. --Frgte (talk) 01:36, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
The item shown in the picture of this article is a fish slice. (talk) 14:51, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

The item shown is called a fish slice in the UK. A spatula in UK English is different. Martin Hogbin (talk) 00:57, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

There seems to be no consensus to merge. Any help of the naming of the fish slice and fish slice (UK) articles would be welcome. Martin Hogbin (talk) 08:53, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Broadened definition[edit]

I hope other contributors will excuse me arbitrarily adding an introductory paragraph and moving other parts of the text in order to adjust the disproportionate and misleading emphasis on kitchen spatulas. I didn't wait to consult as the effect of the existing format was to confuse anyone following links from other articles where the implement has a completely different use - eg in relation to artistic technique. Opbeith (talk) 08:31, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

What's the history?[edit]

I was wondering where we got Spatulas (the flat thing we flip burgers with), I think the Knife is really, really ancient, but how did the shape change to this, or did it come from some other thing. I came here, and amazing! something that Wikipedia does not yet cover. Friendly Person (talk) 22:18, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Fishslice redirect[edit]

The 'fishslice' redirect currently points here rather than to Fish slice. Surely this is incorrect? --Ef80 (talk) 13:31, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Why does Turner (utensil) redirect here?[edit]

This implement is never mentioned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:51, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Rubber bowl knife[edit]

is what scrapers are called by American bakers. (talk) 17:04, 3 January 2018 (UTC)