If you're a gardener, you know that a spade is a small shovel with a short handle. A spade is perfect for planting bulbs and digging up weeds.

  • Pronunciation: /speɪd/
  • English Description: a tool for digging that has a long handle and a broad metal blade that you push into the ground
  • Chinese Translation: 铁锹(Tie1 Qiao1)
  • Spanish Translation: pala
  • STORY:  In addition to a small digging tool, a spade is also a suit of playing card — the black one that looks a bit like an upside-down heart. There's even a card game called "Spades" in which a spade has a higher value than any other suit. The two meanings have different roots; the card suit spade comes from the Greek spathe, and the little shovel kind of spade has Proto-Germanic roots that mean "flat piece of wood."


  • Beauty, intelligence, wealth - my mother had all of them in spades.
  • We need a spade if we're going to dig a pit.