from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Informal A potato.
  • noun A sharp spadelike tool used for rooting or digging out weeds.
  • noun A short section of pipe or a threaded fitting that completes a connection, as between a longer pipe and a nozzle, valve, or meter.
  • transitive verb To remove with a sharp spadelike tool.
  • transitive verb To begin drilling operations on.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To remove by means of a spud: often with up or out.
  • To drill (a hole) by spudding (which see, below).
  • noun A stout knife or dagger.
  • noun A small spade, or a spade having a small blade, with a handle of any length; a small cutting-blade fixed in the axis of its handle, somewhat like a chisel with a very long handle, for cutting the roots of weeds without stooping.
  • noun A spade-shaped tool for recovering lost or broken tools in a tube-well.
  • noun A nail driven into the timbers of a drift or shaft, or fastened in some other way, so as to mark a surveying-station.
  • noun Any short and thick thing: usually in contempt.
  • noun A curved chisel-like tool for removing bark.
  • noun One of several heavy vertical pieces of timber shod with a pointed iron at the lower end, arranged to slide in guides on a floating dredge. When lowered to the bottom the spuds anchor the dredge and hold it in place against the push of the dredging machinery.
  • noun In archaeology, one of a class of pecked or polished stone implements varying considerably in size and form, but always having a rather broad blade with a sort of handle of variable length: often referred to as spade-like or paddle-shaped implements.
  • noun In surgery: A flat spade-like instrument used for the detachment of soft parts from bone.
  • noun An instrument of similar shape used in the extraction of foreign bodies from the eye.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A sharp, narrow spade, usually with a long handle, used by farmers for digging up large-rooted weeds; a similarly shaped implement used for various purposes.
  • noun obsolete A dagger.
  • noun Local, U.S. Anything short and thick; specifically, a piece of dough boiled in fat.
  • noun colloq. A potato.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A hole in a sock.
  • noun obsolete, US, dialect Anything short and thick; specifically, a piece of dough boiled in fat.
  • verb drilling To begin drilling an oil well; to drill by moving the drill bit and shaft up and down, or by raising and dropping a bit.
  • verb roofing To remove the roofing aggregate and most of the bituminous top coating by scraping and chipping.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an edible tuber native to South America; a staple food of Ireland
  • verb initiate drilling operations, as for petroleum
  • noun a sharp hand shovel for digging out roots and weeds
  • verb produce buds, branches, or germinate


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English spudde, short knife.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin unknown; probably related to Danish spyd, Old Norse spjót ("spear").


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • UK vernacular for potato

    August 26, 2008

  • Not just UK.

    August 26, 2008

  • Mario Pei's incorrect etymology (1949) derived from the acronym for the "Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet", a British group bent upon discouraging the use of potatoes as food in England during the 19th century.

    March 16, 2011

  • A small, but important potato-growing community between Palatka and St. Augustine, Florida, where young boys are sometimes nicknamed "Spud" rather than "Bubba".

    March 16, 2011

  • Perhaps there's an issue with the etymologies where a word has more than one meaning. In some cases it's not clear which meaning the etymology - usually only one - links to. Although in this case it is.

    March 16, 2011

  • I had a lovely couple of baked spuds for dinner last night.

    March 16, 2011