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Plate set (soup and dinner plates) made of porcelain

The plate (via Old French taillor of lat. Talea , Switzerland cut piece '. Austrian. Also the plate to lat. Tellarium n.) Is a generally circular, generally flat portion of the dinnerware , on which the food before consumption caused to be or is placed under other crockery or cutlery and fulfills other functions in the kitchen.


Set of dishes: dinner plate and (clockwise) salad plate, sauce bowl, soup plate, bread plate; Cup and saucer
Tea bag plate
Stackable canteen plate , 1960s

The plate consists of:

  • a depression, the mirror
  • the ring-shaped foot on the underside
  • often a flat raised edge, the flag


Disposable plates made from leaves. Kathmandu, Durbar Square

Plates can be made from a wide variety of materials : there are plates made of porcelain and other ceramics , wood , glass , plastic , paper , metal (for example a silver or pewter plate) and so on.

The intended use of the plate also determines the materials used. Melamine plates that are more resistant to breakage are often used in large kitchens such as canteens . This material is also used in camping.

In the home, there are mainly plates made of porcelain, while paper plates are often used as a disposable version at events.

Form and use

The shape of the plate is determined by its use, from which the name is usually derived:

  • An underplate is very flat and has a relatively large diameter; it serves as a base for the dinner plate of the respective course.
  • A saucer serves as a base for soup bowls, cups, etc., see also saucer
  • A dinner plate, dinner plate or meat plate is the normal, flat dinner plate.
  • A breakfast plate , cake plate or dessert plate has the same shape as the dinner plate, but a smaller diameter.
  • A bread plate also has the same shape but the smallest diameter; it is used for bread on the top left of the set table.
  • A soup plate has a deeper shape with a raised rim.
  • A side plate is mostly crescent-shaped and follows the edge of the plate in the cutout; it is used for waste or accessories such as lemon or sauce.
  • A menu plate has several, usually three, departments that are separated from each other by a partition so that, for example, B. Sauce cannot run from one compartment to the other.
  • Smaller plates, which are often decorated with child-friendly motifs, are sold as special children's plates . They are usually part of special children's dishes and are usually made of break-proof materials such as melamine and are made using the Ornamin process . (see also: robber plate )
  • A fish plate is usually an oval or slightly fish-shaped plate for serving fish dishes or a plate painted with fish motifs ( fish plate (ancient) )
  • A gift plate is a plate that is mainly used in connection with the customs for Christmas with cookies, fruits, pralines, nuts and similar "gifts" (see also colored plate )
  • A coat of arms plate is a utility or decorative plate decorated with coats of arms or special heraldic elements.

A complete, rich dinner service is characterized, among other things, by the fact that it offers plates in many sizes and shapes.

Web links

Wiktionary: Teller  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Teller  - collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Friedrich Kluge , Alfred Götze : Etymological dictionary of the German language . 20th ed., Ed. by Walther Mitzka , De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1967; Reprint (“21st unchanged edition”) ibid 1975, ISBN 3-11-005709-3 , p. 776.
  2. Peter Wehle: Do you speak Viennese? Ueberreuter, Vienna / Heidelberg 1980, ISBN 3-8000-3165-5 .
  3. [1] (PDF; 631 kB) Melamine crockery in the cafeteria / Studentenwerk Göttingen
  4. Parents forum melamine tableware