Learn English – What’s the difference between ‘cutlery’, ‘silverware’ and ‘crockery’


What's the difference between 'cutlery', 'silverware' and 'crockery'? Are there any differences between them?

Best Answer

Cutlery has two definitions: 1. cutting/edged implements used for serving or eating food; 2. eating utensils in general. Without further context, an American is likely to assume the first definition (knives), while a Brit is more likely to go for the generic meaning. Silverware also means eating utensils, especially silver-colored ones, though nowadays, most silverware is not actually made of silver. An American synonym that does not imply anything about the silver content (or lack thereof) is flatware.

Crockery is completely different: in British English usage, it means the things on the dinner table that are usually made of china or porcelain -- plates, bowls, saucers, cups, serving bowls, etc. In American English, crockery is used for certain earthenware cooking pots, but given enough context, an American would probably understand crockery used according to the British definition.