silver spoon

silver spoon

Meaning

  • having a rich or privileged background
  • someone born in a wealthy family
  • to be fortunate

The phrase “silver spoon” is a short form of the original proverb “born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth.”

Examples in Sentences

  1. Many fans believed that Vince was a silver spoon kid.
  2. He is a silver spoon and well connected in the corridors of power.
  3. He is tired of her silver spoon wife because she doesn’t know any work.
  4. The president said that any person with a silver spoon is not above the law.
  5. The mayor was a silver spoon; he won the elections easily.
  6. That school is reserved for the “silver spoon” children only.
  7. John drives a blue sports car; he is lucky to be born with a silver spoon.

Origin

According to etymology, this idiom dates back to the 18th century. People used to carry their spoons to the table before table setting became popular.

Farmers who worked on the field had to carry around a silver spoon to avoid getting mistaken for slaves. The spoon denoted social class and served as their passport and credit card.

In another instance, the godparents gave their godchildren silver spoons during their christening. This silver spoon signified wealth.

The phrase first appeared in print in 1719, in Peter Anthony Motteux’s translation of the novel Don Quixote:

“Mum, Teresa, quoth Sancho, ’tis not all Gold that glisters [sic], and every Man was not born with a Silver Spoon in his Mouth.”

Because the phrase is used as a translation of a Spanish proverb with a different literal meaning (“muchas veces donde hay estacas no hay tocinos,” literally: “often where there are hooks [for hanging hams] there are no hams”), it seems like that the phrase was already considered proverbial in English before 1719.

See also: Born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth

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