Submitted by suzelp  •  May 24, 2010

spay, not spade

When one has rendered a female animal unable to bear young, one spays the animal. If it happened last week, the animal was spayed. Over and over, including in vets’ offices, I have seen references to “getting an animal spade,” and even worse, “We had our cat spaded.” I don’t know what that would be: Hit over the head with a small shovel-like object?

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"Landlord said we got to get both cats spaded or we kicked outta here".
"Don't you mean "spayed"?
"Wish I was"

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"spade" is an obsolete form of "spay" according to the OED. Perhaps it survived.

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