A flat‐bladed instrument used for mixing or spreading materials.

The word spatula was adopted directly from Latin in the early sixteenth century as a name for a medical instrument used to stir ointments and potions. This medical sense remained the primary meaning of spatula until the twentieth century, when the utensil gradually came to be associated with the kitchen. The Latin word from which spatula was derived was spathula, itself a diminutive of the Latin spatha, denoting a broad blade used to stir mixtures. This spatha also evolved into the Italian spada, the name of a broad sword, which English adopted as spade, the name of one of the four suits in a deck of cards. The Latin spatha also evolved into the Old French espee, which in turn developed into the Modern French epee (a kind of sword) and into the English spay (an operation, originally performed with a sword, that removes an animal’s ovaries). Much further back in history, the Latin spatha derived from an Indo-European source, pronounced something like spec, that evolved through the Germanic language family into the word spade, the name of a gardening tool, and into spoon, the name of an eating tool. Incidentally, long before spatula came to be used as the name of a kitchen utensil, the same tool could be called a Hngel, a langet, or a rudicle. Lingel and langet, which date back to the mid sixteenth century, both derive from the Latin lingua, meaning tongue; rudicle, on the other hand, dates back to the mid seventeenth century, and derives from the same Germanic source as the word rudder. Of course, what swords, tongues, rudders, and spatulas all have in common is their broad, flat shape.

A small, spoon-shaped instrument used during a medical examination. The used to scrape a tiny amount of tissue from the cervix that is used for a Pap smear.

A flat flexible tool with a handle, used to scoop, lift, spread or mix things.

A flat wooden stick used to press the tongue down when the mouth or throat is being examined.

An instrument with a flat blunt blade used to spread ointments or plasters.

A flat, knife-like instrument used for spreading plasters and ointments, and also for depressing the tongue when the throat is being examined.

An instrument for spreading or mixing semisolids. It is usually flat, thin, somewhat flexible, and shaped like a knife without a cutting edge. It may be used in blunt dissection of soft tissues (e.g., brain).

A utensil consisting of a wide, flat blade with a sharpened edge, intended for the purpose of spreading frosting, butter, or similar substances. Additionally, it is frequently employed to flip pancakes or other flat food items.