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Looking for a general term for things one would store on a spool -- thread, string, lanyard, wire, that sort of thing. Things that occur in long lines and will get tangled up if you don't organize them properly.

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"Fiber" or "thread" might work... (even though you mentioned "thread" already - I think "thread" is actually fairly generic) – advs89 Feb 26 '11 at 2:17
Is there a motivation for the need for such a generic term? You've articulated the concept but that doesn't guarantee a concise existing term in English. – Mitch Jan 1 '12 at 14:47
@Mitch: Yes, I asked because I have a motivation. I understand that not all concepts map to English words. – chaos Jan 1 '12 at 18:34
@chaos: OK then, what is your motivation? – Mitch Jan 1 '12 at 23:06
@Mitch: Naming a software object that can take on any of these as specific forms. (I don't see how knowing this helps anything.) – chaos Jan 1 '12 at 23:37
up vote 11 down vote accepted

You might refer to all of those as line, which means

a length of cord, rope, wire, or other material serving a particular purpose

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All things that could be stored on a spool have coils. So perhaps the word 'windings' in combination with coils. As in: "Windings, left uncoiled, are hazardous."

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For the record, I'm considering using "filament".

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