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So in its early days, the knife took on the role of knife, fork, and spoon all at once.
It wasn't until the 16th century in Italy that the true dinner knife emerged, one that's use was strictly for eating.
By the 14th century, forks were occasionally showing up in the inventories and wills of the nobles and the wealthy.
Even then, it wasn’t until the 18th century that the fork worked its way down to the lower classes in England.
It was also around this time that the shape of the fork itself took on a change.
From this we get the expression "to whet the appetite." During the meal, knife blades were used for cutting and the tips of the knives were used to spear meat and used in the manner we use forks today.
Blades were used to pick up smaller items that weren't feasible to be eaten with the hands, such as peas.