Word of the Day: Paper
pa-per / pā-pər
1. made of the material known as paper
To read a paper book is another experience: you can do it on a ship, on the branch of a tree, on your bed, even if there is a blackout.
Umberto Eco, 1932 – 2016
2. extremely thin or flimsy
The line between education and brainwashing is paper thin.
Yana Toboso, 1984 –
3. pertaining to office work
What the world really needs is more love and less paper work.
Pearl Bailey, 1918 – 1990
4. only available in written form, not in actual practice; theoretical
All reactionaries are paper tigers.
Mao Zedong, 1893 – 1976
1. a thin flat material made from the pulp of wood, rags, etc. used for writing and printing on, wrapping, etc.
A book tightly shut is but a block of paper.
2. a single thin flat sheet made from pulp of wood, rags, etc. used especially for writing and printing on, wrapping, etc.
Even a sheet of paper has two sides.
3. a written or printed document, often prepared for school or for publication
Some people write their papers the second they get their assignments, and some people write it the day after it’s due.
Zooey Deschanel, 1980 –
4. (often papers) credentials, an official written document establishing one’s identity or status
We were stopped a handful of times and Nelson provided his papers to the authorities and a few times was even asked to step out of our car.
From Noe DeWitt, “Cuba” ‘Take Me Away’, www.takemeawayblog.com/the-real-cuba, July 30, 2016
5. a group of writings by an individual, including diaries, letters, etc.
Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.
From “The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr” by Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929 – 1968
6. a newspaper
All I know is just what I read in the papers.
Will Rogers, 1879 – 1935
If you’re hanging the paper vertically, use a plumb line for the first length to ensure the paper will be completely straight.
Jessica Padykula, “How to Hang Wallpaper” ‘Style at Home’ www.styleathome.com/how-to/renovations/article/how-to-hang-wallpaper, July 24, 2015
8. a short term, unsecured debt instrument; commercial paper
Thereafter he accepted commercial paper in payment for merchandise, and trade grew immensely.
From “Tales of Aztlan” by George Hartmann, 1843 – 1900
1. to cover with wallpaper
If the surface of the drywall was not properly prepared before it was papered, I humbly suggest wallpapering over it.
Alen J. Heavens, “Stripping Wallpaper is Tough, But Can Be Done” ‘The Seattle Times’, September 12, 1999
2. to cover or wrap with the material known as paper
Under the window, my dad’s carved mahogany desk was papered with his latest novel, stacked on his computer, stacked on his chair, stacked meticulously across the Persian rug on the floor.
From “Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia, 1972 – and Margaret Stohl, 1967 –
3. (slang) to provide free tickets or passes
There was seating for 4200 but barely 1 / 3 of that showed on Olympia’s opening night and most of that crowd was papered.
From “The Great Delaware Sports Book” by Doug Gelbert, ? –
4. to pass out flyers, posters, etc. in an area
Buddha was arrested one day in March for papering the city here with rap-group stickers.
Patrick M. Reilly, “Phat Sales: ‘Street Teams’ Create Rap Stars with Curbside Technique” ‘The Wall Street Journal’, www.wsj.com/articles/SB898663789206873500, June 25, 1998
From the Greek noun papyros (papyrus), through the Latin transliteration papyrus and the Old French noun papier.
Thank you to Allen Ward for providing this etymology.