Saturday, February 24Not Your Ordinary English-Tagalog Dictionary

What is Plate in Tagalog? History, Types, Styles, and Materials

A plate in Tagalog is called “plato” or “pinggan,” a specific type of dish where we put solid food. Technically, a dish can be anything that we put our food (solid or liquid) for serving or eating. However, there is no direct Tagalog translation for dishes and Filipinos use terms such as mangkok (bowl) and tasa (cup). A dishwasher in Tagalog is called “taga hugas ng pinggan,” where”hugas” means “to wash.”

Plate in Tagalog
Plates in the Philippines

The exact origin of plates is not well-documented but is assumed that early humans used leaves, large leaves, or flat stones as makeshift plates to hold and serve food. In ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome, people used various materials for plates, including clay, wood, and metal. These plates were often simple and utilitarian in design.

Meanwhile, China has a long history of porcelain production, dating back to the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1046 BCE). At that time, porcelain plates became popular in the country due to their fine craftsmanship and delicate designs. They were very expensive and heavily exported to Europe and the Islamic world. Since then, Chinese porcelain plates have spread across the globe.

In medieval Europe, people typically used trenchers, which were slices of stale bread or flat pieces of wood, as plates. Food was placed on these trenchers, and they served the dual purpose of holding food and absorbing sauce or gravy. During the Renaissance in Europe, ceramic plates became more common and were often hand-painted with intricate designs, symbolizing wealth.

In the 20th century, the materials used for plates diversified to include glass, plastic, and stainless steel, reflecting advancements in manufacturing and changes in lifestyle. These materials offered durability, convenience, and a range of design options. Today, plates come in a wide variety of materials, shapes, sizes, and designs, catering to various culinary trends and individual preferences.

There are several types of plates, according to use, material used, and style. In terms of use, we have the dinner plate, appetizer plate, bread and butter plate, dessert plate, saucer plate, and serving plate. The saucer plate is small and is called “platito” in Tagalog. It is commonly used for serving sauces and condiments, and to support cups for coffee and tea.

When it comes to materials, today’s plates are not only made of porcelain and ceramic. Now, we also have bamboo plates, glass plates, earthenware plates, melamine plates, paper plates, plastic plates, and stoneware plates. Both paper and plastic plates are cheap and disposable but not eco-friendly. They are mostly used in feasts, kids’ birthday parties, and other occasions with a lot of visitors. 

On the other hand, the types of stylish plates include bone China plates, charger plates, Christmas plates, colored glass plates, creamware plates, fine China plates, and tin-glazed plates. These decorative plates are commonly used in formal settings such as banquets, weddings, and catered events, Fine dining restaurants also use them to add ambiance and provide an extraordinary dining experience.

Use plato in a sentence.


Tigilan mo na muna ang paglalaro at kakain na tayo. Kumuha ka na din ng mga plato.


Stop playing and we’re going to eat. Also, get some plates.

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