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lazy Susan


a) a revolving food tray

German translation:

lazy Susan = eine Drehplatte, auf der Speisen serviert werden

lazy Susan: approximately 650,000 hits



Sample text:

The LAZY SUSAN sits on top of a gold-plated Corinthian column. On top of this shiny column is glued an engraved brass plate that reads: The Thinker.


A rotary LAZY SUSAN mechanism is also available, and the system can incorporate overhead storage for tray tables or parts.

(Manufacturing Engineering magazine)

Did you know?

lazy Susan
noun phrase

- a circular piece of wood or plastic which is put on a table and can be turned around so that everyone can reach the food that is on it

(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)


Lazy Susan made its first written appearance in a Vanity Fair advertisement for a "Revolving Server or Lazy Susan'' in 1917. The device itself predates the name lazy Susan as many antique shoppers can tell you. These revolving serving trays have been around since the 1700s, where they often consisted of several levels and were called dumbwaiters.

They were so called because they quietly (hence "dumb'') took the place of waiters in the dining room. The term dumbwaiter now usually refers to a small elevator used to carry food and dishes from one level in a building to another.

No one really knows where the name lazy Susan came from, but most theories suggest it has to do with Susan as a common name for servants. More likely though, lazy Susan was styled on previous combinations in English that use common names (peeping Tom, jim dandy, Jolly Roger). It is also possible that the combination of the "z'' sound in lazy and the "s'' sound in Susan appealed to the manufacturer's sense of marketing.

Meanwhile, lazy Susan can be used to refer to any object that rotates or swivels as a convenience to the user.

sources: Word Detective, Jewish World Review, Wikipedia

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