Saturday, March 2Not Your Ordinary English-Tagalog Dictionary

What is Fork in Tagalog? History, Types, and How Filipinos Use Forks

The fork in Tagalog is called “tinidor,” which came from the Spanish word “tenedor.” Like in many other countries, many Filipinos also use a fork along with a spoon while eating. But for some families in the provinces, using only a spoon is enough. A lot of them still prefer the Kamayan style, a traditional way of eating using only bare hands.

Fork in Tagalog
Forks in the Philippines

Forks have been around since the ancient civilization in Egypt, Greece, and Rome, but not as eating utensils. They had long handles and two long teeth (tines), and people used knives and their hands for eating. These two-tined forks were instead used as cooking tools for lifting meats from the fire. The table fork that we know today used to be a scandalous item..

In 1004, Maria Argyropoulina, the Greek niece of Byzantine Emperor Basil II, came to Venice to marry Giovanni, the son of Doge Pietro Orseolo II. She then brought golden forks and used them during the feast. The guests were disappointed and criticized her for being extravagant. The clergy condemned Maria, saying that using metal forks is disrespect to God.

Two years later, Argyropoulina passed away from the plague. Saint Peter Damian seemed a bit pleased, suggesting that it was God’s punishment for her extravagant lifestyle. The Roman Catholic Church declared that God gave people fingers to be used as natural forks. The same story also happened to Theophanu Byzantine, wife of Emperor Otto II.

However, everything changed in the late Middle Ages, when table forks began to spread across Europe. Thanks to Italy’s connections with Byzantium, the Italians embraced pasta as a significant part of their diet, and forks became popular. By the 14th century, forks had become a familiar sight in royal visits. In the 1600s, they became a standard in almost every country in Europe.

So far, there are at least 20 different types of forks depending on their uses. This includes four-tined forks such as the dinner fork, the salad fork, the fish fork, and the extendable fork. The two-tined forks include the carving pork, the cheese fork, the chip fork, the Deli fork, and the snail fork. Knowing which one to use is essential during fine dining.

As mentioned earlier, Filipinos also use a fork in eating but not always. And if they do, it’s not to hold meat while cutting it with a knife or to put food in their mouths. Instead, Filipinos traditionally use the fork to help push rice and other foods onto the spoon. In short, they use spoons for eating and forks only serve as the rake. This is also why spoons are more common than forks in the Philippines.

Use tinidor in a sentence.


Mukhang masarap yung niluto mong spaghetti. Kukuha ako ng tinidor at titikman ko.


Your spaghetti looks delicious. I’ll get a fork and taste it.

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