Word of the day – spurtle
I came across today’s word, spurtle, in a book I’m reading at the moment. It’s described as “a wooden utensil for stirring porridge” in the book, while according to Wikipedia it is:
a Scots kitchen tool, dating from at least the fifteenth century. It was originally a flat, wooden, spatula-like utensil, used for flipping oatcakes on a hot griddle. This terminology is now confined to Angus and Perthshire.
Over time, the original implement changed shape and began being used specifically for stirring oatmeal and soups. The rod-like shape is designed for constant stirring which prevents the porridge from congealing and so becoming lumpy and unappetising. It looks like a fat wooden dowel, often with a contoured end to give the user a better grip.
A Golden Spurtle is the first prize at the World Porridge Making Championships, which take place in Carrbridge in Scotland.
The Spurtle is also the name of a Scottish Country dance.
The etymology of spurtle is uncertain, however while searching for it, I found a possibly related word in A etymological dictionary of the Scottish language:
SPURKLE, A sort of spattle. “Scutching spurkle, a stick to beat flax.” “Thacking spurkle, a broad-mouth’d stick for thatching with”. [...] perhaps Spurkle is merely a variety of Spurtle.