(n.) Origin 1760-1770

Definition: spoon, variant of obsolete spoom (of a ship) to run or scud before the wind + drift, spray blown from waves during a gale at sea. Spoondrift.

In other words, it’s what gives us “beach waves” in our hair (that are all the rage these days), and what cools off our sunburn during a trip to the coast. And it’s also the sea’s idea of an all-natural moisturizer.

Photo by Chris Richardson via Wikimedia Commons.

“Just the same, I guess I can show you girls a good time at spoondrift.”
The Corner House Girls Under Canvas, Grace Brooks Hill

“Spoondrift is the spray from the tops of the waves,” explained Pearl.
The Corner House Girls Under Canvas, Grace Brooks Hill

“And it was cold—oh, it was cold! The pinching cold was like a vise: spoondrift flew freezing, fold on fold. It coated them with ice.”
The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 Ministry of Education

  1. Barbara Criss says:

    I have never heard of this word. I looked it up in my dictionary just to be sure I understood it’s meaning right. It is also called spindrift. I like spoondrift better. I am not a fan of the ocean, but I do enjoy it’s mist. I used to spend summers in South Carolina with my sister and we went to the beach quite often.

  2. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    I have sailed through alot of spindrift as we called it. Sailed around the world on a ship for a year. Spend alot of my childhood on the seacoast as well.

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