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Welcome to Strictly China's China And Dinnerware Glossary. Knowing all the terminology can be a key to finding replacement china or dinnerware.  While we have done professional china replacements for 12 years and we stock many fine patterns of discontinued china and discontinued tableware, if we don't properly communicate, the customer may have trouble finding the pieces they want.
An excellent example is Chop Plate and Charger. They have essentially the same definition. So, I might have what you want in stock but under another name.

As a service to our friends, here is a partial glossary of terms. We will add to it as we gather more definitions.

3 Piece Place Setting - Dinner and Salad plate and Mug or Dinner and Salad plates and Soup bowl. Dinner plate, Cup & Saucer or Dinner plate, Soup bowl and Mug  

4 Piece Place Setting - Dinner and Salad plates and Cup & Saucer
Dinner and Salad plates Soup bowl and Mug   
Dinner, Salad and Bread plates and Soup bowl.

5 Piece Completer Set   Most often a Sugar bowl, with lid, a Creamer, a medium platter and a round vegetable serving bowl.

5 Piece Place Setting - Dinner and Bread plate, Soup bowl and Cup & Saucer or
 Dinner and Salad plates, Soup bowl and Cup and Saucer or   Dinner, Salad and Bread plates, Cup and Saucer
Dinner, Salad and Bread plates, Soup bowl and Mug or   Dinner
and Salad plates Cereal bowl and Cup  and
 Saucer


Accent Plate  
Often used as a small server, these are generally slightly larger than the bread or dessert plate but smaller than a salad plate.

All Purpose Bowl     generally a coupe shaped bowl. A term for an additional bowl not so large that it cannot serve for a single (usually large) serving of soup or salad but smaller than one used for serving.

Baker - These are ovenware, intended for baking, often rectangular or oval shaped, and usually made of heavier ceramic or eartheware material.

Bone Dish - most often these are a modified crescent sort of shape. I have found them frequently in sets of French Limoges china. They were used to deposit bones rather than clutter one's plate with the completed course.

Bread & Butter Plate     generally about 5-6 inches in diameter often used interchangeably with dessert plates. May also be square in shape.

Butter Pat -   2 1/2 or 3  inches, suitable for a single pat of butter. These can be mistaken for doll dishes. On occasion sold and used as coasters or even ashtrays in earlier times.

Casserole -   most usually these are covered and have handles or lugs. Made to be used for baking. On occasion covered bowls are referred to as casseroles whether intended as bakers or not but strictly speaking that would not be the case. See also Baker.

Celery Dish    a small  oval shaped serving dish whic appears to be a small platter under 12 inches and used for serving cut celery.

Centerpiece Bowl     a very large bowl at 12 to 16 or more inches suited to display of  fruit, flowers or other centerpiece.

Cereal Bowl     smaller than 8 inches and most often without a rim (coupe shape.)

Charger generally 1 to two inches larger than the dinner plate Chargers are round platters. Sometimes also referred to as Chop Plates

Chop Plate A Round Platter usually 12 or more inches. Sometimes these double as tureen underplates.

Completer Set  Most often a Sugar bowl, with or without lid, a Creamer a medium platter and a round vegetable serving bowl.

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Cookie Plate  a smaller serving plate.

Coupe - coupe refers to the shape of a ceramic blank. Coupe is rimless. There is no change is the thickness or shape of the material as you reach the outer edges.

Covered Vegetable   These are serving dishes usually either round or oval often both are available in fine china sets. These have covers and the pottery blank will be designed with a lip for the lid on either lid or bowl. Lids can have finials and bowls may have lugs or handles.

Cream Soup Bowl  Usually this has handles or lugs and a larger than normal saucer. Often mistaken for large tea cups with two handles.

Cup & Saucer - Flat   A cup generally taller than a teacup (see below) bit with an unornamented flat bottom and straight sides.

Cup & Saucer - Footed  These can literally have three small feet but for the sake of description the bottom of the cup will curve in and then have a larger and often more ornate base.

Cup & Saucer - Tea     a shorter cup usually than a regular coffee cup with the sides curving down to a smaller base than lip.

Custard Cup   a cup for a single serving custard, this would look like a tea cup without a handle.

Demi-Tasse Cup & Saucer a small cup suitable for single shots of espresso or other hot beverage. Generally under 2 inches in diameter.

Dinner Plate - Square and other shapes, octagonal for instance of about the same size of 10 or so inches. A Dinner Plate is generally round and used as the main dining plate usually 10 to 12 inches in diameter

Divided Vegetable     a bowl with or without a lid but with a division in the center allowing two separate side dishes to occupy the same dish without co-mixing the contents.

Espresso Cup see Demi-tasse or demitasse

Fish Platter  A fish platter is usually the largest of platters. Probably from the European approach to serving entire fishes with head and tail intact. These are in my experience over 17 inches long and may exceed 2 feet in length. These are not often found in modern china or dinnerware.

Fruit or Dessert Bowl    These are known as 'monkey dishes' in restaurants. These are usually 5 or fewer inches in diameter. Usually in the shape of the rest of the table setting.

Large Pasta Bowl   Generally a low sided wide bowl of 10 or so inches diameter.

Luncheon Plate - generally about 9 inches or roughly an inch smaller than the corresponding dinner plate

Medium Platter - Square Octagonal Oval Rectangular Round, generally 14-15 inches.

Monkey Dish - Slang term in restaurants for a fruit or dessert bowl.

Nut Dish  a small flat dish for serving nuts.

Octagonal Bowl   any bowl with eight sides.


Oval Dish  a small serving piece which is oval shaped. Frequently used for serving crudite or celery, carrots and the like.

Oval Vegetable Bowl - Usually an open serving dish which is oval shaped rather than being round. These may or may not include lids or covers.

Pepper Mill - a device for grinding pepper corns into pepper thus ensuring freshness of the pepper seasoning the food. Most often made of wood or metal.

Rimmed Soup Bowl - generally a low bowl suited to a single serving of soup which is usually over 8 inches but including a rim of about an inch or more. These can be square, hexagonal or octagonal in addition to the more common round shape.

Round Platter see charger

Round Vegetable - Open   designed without lid, these are mostly over 8 inches in diameter

Salad Bowl 1) Serving bowl usually 8 to 12 inches in diameter and 4 - 6 inches tall, This is a broad category generally covered by serving bowls.

Salad Bowl 2) A smaller bowl suited to a single serving of salad. These may exist in a very large set which includes rimmed soup bowls, fruit or dessert bowls and a cereal bowl.

Salad or Dessert Bowl  See Salad Bowl definition 2)

Salad Plate   7-8 or so inches, It will most likely correspond in shape to the design of the dinner. In some sets this plate is often more heavily decorated than its dinner sized plate.

Saucer     A saucer is generally made in the shape of the pattern but most often includes an indentation for the cup to rest in.

Shell Dish     A serving bowl shaped like a clam shell.

Small Platter
- Square Octagonal Oval Rectangular Round - Less than 14 inches.


Soup Bowl (coupe, or rimless) usually under 8 inches and without rim.

Soup or Cereal Bowl - as covered earlier, smaller than 8 inches and coupe shape.

Soup Tureen -    Large serving bowl usually with a lid. They are usually suitable for holding between a quart to a half gallon or more. 'Tureen' is frequently misspelled and I have seen many variations of spelling. I make the distinction that a tureen includes a slot for a spoon where a covered vegetable does not. A soup tureen generally has handles and a lid with or without a slot and frequently includes an underplate. If a slot is included frequently a serving spoon in the same pattern is available.

Square Vegetable - An open serving bowl in a square shape.


Trivet  a trivet is used to hold hot pans so as to avoid burning other surfaces. They can be wood, ceramic or metal. Usually ceramic ones are decorated with the same pattern as the china or dinnerware.

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Check our catalog for the brands of discontinued china that we carry.  Fine China and dinnerware are listed on our catalog pages. Click browse Inventory to see them in full.