wooden spoon

wooden spoon (plural wooden spoons)

  1. A spoon made from wood, commonly used in food preparation.
  2. (idiomatic) An ironic prize for finishing last in a competition.
  3. (Cambridge University slang, dated) The last junior optime who takes a university degree.
    • 1843, Thomas Macaulay, Sir James Mackintosh's History of the Revolution
      We submit that a wooden spoon of our day would not be justified in calling Galileo and Napier blockheads because they never heard of the differential calculus.
  4. (US, college slang, dated) The lowest appointee of the junior year; sometimes, one especially popular in his class, without reference to scholarship. Formerly, it was a custom for classmates to present to this person a wooden spoon with formal ceremonies.
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