AskDefine | Define spurtle

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Either of two Scottish kitchen implements made of wood; a flat one for turning oatcakes, or a stick for stirring poridge


  1. To spurt, spatter or sputter


  • OED 2nd edition 1989

Extensive Definition

The spurtle (or "spirtle") 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, this implement changed shape and began being used specifically for stirring oatmeal and soups. It is similar to an ordinary stirring spoon, but the bowl of the spoon has been removed since a wide area would cause enough pressure to tear cooked oats apart. It looks like a fat wooden dowel, often with a contoured end to give the user a better grip. Defined as a stirring stick, it is in common use throughout Scotland, although it is rarer in Angus and Fife where the term theevil is used.
The word may derive from the Latin spatula.
There is a World Porridge Cooking Contest known as "The Golden Spurtle".

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Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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