Why Is a Plate Called a Charger

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Why Is a Plate Called a Charger?

Have you ever wondered why a plate is called a charger? It may seem like a strange name for a simple dinnerware item, but its origins can be traced back to centuries ago. In this article, we will delve into the history of the word charger and explore its significance in the world of dining. We will also address some frequently asked questions about chargers.

The Origins of the Term Charger

The term charger has its roots in medieval times. In the Middle Ages, a charger referred to a large, flat dish or platter used for serving food. These dishes were typically made of metal, such as pewter or silver, and were used in grand feasts and banquets. The charger was often adorned with intricate designs and symbols, showcasing the wealth and status of the host.

The word charger itself is derived from the Old French word “chargier,” meaning to load or burden. This reflects the original purpose of these large plates, as they were loaded with food and presented to the guests. Over time, the term charger became synonymous with a large serving plate.

The Evolution of Chargers

As time went on, chargers evolved from being purely functional to becoming decorative pieces. In the 19th century, porcelain chargers became popular, featuring elaborate patterns and motifs. These chargers were often displayed as decorative pieces on walls or cabinets, rather than being used for serving food.

In modern times, the use of chargers has evolved even further. They are now commonly used as decorative bases for other dinnerware, such as plates and bowls. The charger acts as a stylish foundation, adding an elegant touch to the table setting. It also helps protect the tablecloth or table surface from spills and stains.

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FAQs about Chargers

Q: Are chargers necessary for a formal dinner?

A: While chargers are not essential for a formal dinner, they are often used to enhance the visual appeal of the table setting. They add a touch of elegance and sophistication, creating a more polished and refined atmosphere.

Q: What materials are chargers made of?

A: Chargers can be made from a variety of materials, including metal, glass, wood, and plastic. The choice of material depends on personal preference and the desired aesthetic.

Q: Can chargers be used with any type of dinnerware?

A: Yes, chargers can be paired with any type of dinnerware, including fine china, porcelain, and everyday dishes. They provide a stylish and cohesive look to the table setting, regardless of the type of dinnerware used.

Q: How should chargers be cleaned and maintained?

A: The cleaning and maintenance of chargers depend on the material they are made of. Metal chargers can be polished with a soft cloth and metal cleaner, while glass chargers can be cleaned with mild soap and water. It is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions for specific care guidelines.

Q: Can chargers be used for purposes other than dining?

A: Yes, chargers can be used in a variety of creative ways beyond dining. They can be repurposed as decorative trays for candles, flower arrangements, or even as wall art.

In conclusion, the term charger has a rich history that dates back to medieval times. From its origins as a large serving plate in grand feasts, chargers have evolved to become decorative pieces that add elegance and style to table settings. Whether used for formal dinners or as decorative bases, chargers continue to play a significant role in the world of dining and home d├ęcor.

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