"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Sunday, 2 August 2009


A spud is a slang term for a potato. The word comes from the digging implement once used to uproot them.

Originally a spud was a short knife or dagger and an Anglo-Latin lexicon from c.1440 describes it as an inexpensive little knife. By the 17th century the name spudd was used for a digging tool and it appears in Pepys' diary when on 10 October 1667 "We...begun with a spudd to lift up the ground." By the mid Nineteenth century the word had changed in meaning, transferring from the tool used to dig up potatoes to the potatoes themselves.

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