A spade is a tool designed primarily for the purpose of digging or removing earth and spreading the soil. Early spades were made of riven wood. After the art of metalworking was discovered, spades were made with sharper tips of metal. Before the advent of metal spades manual labor was less efficient at moving earth, with picks being required to break up the soil in addition to a spade for moving the dirt. With a metal tip, a spade can both break and move the earth in most situations, increasing efficiency.

Read more about Spade:  Etymology, Designs of Spades, Loy Ploughing, Digging Tool, Other Uses of The Term

Famous quotes containing the word spade:

    I hate vulgar realism in literature. The man who could call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. It is the only thing he is fit for.
    Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

    A spade is not a spade, and it is just
    That any tremulous twisting of her lips
    Should be mere prettiness, or call it grace
    The canto amoroso of her hips.
    Allen Tate (1899–1979)

    Morning smack of the spade that wakes up sleep,
    Shakes a desolate boy who slits his throat
    In the dark of the coffin and sheds dry leaves,
    Dylan Thomas (1914–1953)