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While the word Frisbee is claimed as a trademark of the Wham-O toy company, the term is often used generically to describe flying discs similar to those made by that company. They are generally plastic, roughly 8 to 10 inches in diameter, and designed to be thrown and caught by hand.

A model originally invented by Walter Frederick Morrison (and possibly Warren Franscioni) in 1947 was unsuccessful, but a later model made by Morrison in 1952 and sold as the "Pluto Platter" was bought by Wham-O. Wham-O renamed the toy "Frisbee", a (probably deliberate) misspelling of the name of the Frisbie Pie Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, whose pie tins had been used by college students in the area for similar purposes.

Many games are based on the use of these flying discs: