A "spork" is a hybrid form of cutlery. It is based upon a spoon, with the addition of the tines of a fork (usually three or four). A similar utensil, the splade, also has the serrated edge of a knife. Spork-like utensils have been manufactured since at least the late 1800s; patents for spork-like designs date back to at least 1874 and the word "spork" was registered as a trademark both in the U.S. and the U.K. decades later. Sporks are offered in both re-usable and disposable form and are quite versatile. They are commonly used by fast food restaurants, school cafeterias, and backpackers.
The word ''spork'' is a portmanteau word combining the words ''spoon'' and ''fork''. The word ''"spork"'' appeared in the 1909 supplement to the ''Century Dictionary'', where it was described as a trade name and "a 'portmanteau-word' applied to a long, slender spoon having at the end of the bowl projections resembling the tines of a fork." A variation of the spork is the splade, which in addition to the overall spoon shape and fork tines, has a somewhat sharp edge or blade on one or both sides.