(also Lazy Suzy) A turntable (rotating tray) placed on a table or countertop to aid in distributing food. Lazy Susans may be made from a variety of materials but are usually glass, wood or plastic. They are usually circular and placed in the center of a circular table to share dishes easily among diners.
It is likely that the explanation of the term Lazy Susan, and who Susan was, has been lost to history. Folk etymologies claim it as an American invention and trace its name to a product – Ovington's $8.50 mahogany "Revolving Server or Lazy Susan" – advertised in a 1917 Vanity Fair, but its use well predates both the advertisement and (probably) the country. The earliest example of these "serviettes" or "butler's assistants" being called a lazy Susan dates to the 1903 Boston Journal:
John B. Laurie, as the resuscitator of "Lazy Susan", seems destined to leap into fortune as an individual worker. "Lazy Susan" is a step toward solving the ever-vexing servant problem. She can be seen, but not heard, nor can she hear, she simply minds her business and carries out your orders in a jiffy.
Susan here is then a name for a servant. A more intriguing possibility suggests that the “Susan” was inspired by the flower known as a “Black-eyed Susan” (Rudbeckia hirta, aka “Yellow Daisy”), whose circular blooms consist of yellow “rays” surrounding a dark brown centre. The flower apparently took its name from the poem “Black-Eyed Susan” by English poet and dramatist John Gay (1685-1732), in which a sailor bids fond and extended adieu to his love Susan, who is called “black-eyed Susan” in the first stanza. The popularity of the Black-eyed Susan flower, and the resemblance of a circular serving tray to the circular bloom of the flower, may well have given us the name.