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Is "crease up a paper" an idiomatically correct expression for the action of taking a piece of paper in your hands and pressing it into a ball? The action you would do, for example, if rejecting something you have written on a paper, before throwing it into the trash can.

Are there other idiomatic expressions for the same thing, and when would they be used? Is there a word for the result of this action – the "ball" of paper?

Edit: The title now reflects the correct expression.

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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You CRUMPLE a piece of paper - creasing it is to prepare making a paper air plane or origami

However once you have crumpled the paper, it likely becomes creased by your action, but that is incidental.

Other expressions

Wad up a piece of paper

Ball up a piece of paper

The latter gave me this strange synonym on one dictionary:
Gunch - verb; to ball up a piece of paper; usually used in conjunction with crinkle
She gunched and crinckled the bills in total disgust.
but I would not use it since it also appears on Urban Dictionary as something horrible and on hackers dictionary both with no reference to paper

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Cookies crumble, paper crumples. A crumple is a crushed fold. Like a car in a crash. –  Sam Apr 10 '11 at 5:58
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A crease is just a sharp fold. I'm not familiar with "crease up a paper" as you were using it. "Crumple a piece of paper" or "Crumple up a piece of paper" are much more common.

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As has been said, crumple is better than crease in this case.

Other possible phrases are:

ball up

screw up (into a ball)

scrunch up

all of which I would happily use and have heard others use many times.

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I would say screw up a piece of paper, but I can't find any source online that confirms this usage. Perhaps screw up is overworked anyway.

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