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Some magazines often offer, as their center page, a pin-up poster. Playboy's centerfolds are an obvious example, but plenty of other magazines do the same, from celebrity magazines to children's periodicals.

I'd always thought these were called 'pin-ups', but the Wikipedia article seems to consider the phrase primarily referring to "photographs of celebrities who were considered sex symbols," and the general sense that I get is of a very sexual connotation to the phrase. If this is the common understanding of the phrase, I'm concerned that using it in other contexts may be inappropriate or offensive.

Is this the case? If so, what phrase could I use instead? It's important for me to convey the type of cheap, simple poster I'm talking about, so simply switching to "poster" wouldn't be enough.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's not a single word, but pullout poster seems to me to avoid the sexual connotations and to convey precisely what kind of poster is in scope.

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pullout poster seems like a perfect phrase to use instead! –  daxelrod Nov 14 '11 at 0:38
    
Yes! That sounds exactly right! And I can see how I might have misremembered "pullout poster" as "pinup poster"... I think that works really nicely. Sorry to spoil your 1337 reputation :P –  Standback Nov 14 '11 at 6:02

Pin-ups do generally refer to sexual images of celebrities and models, often of the nude variety.

I believe the term you are looking for is centerfold.

Note that while a pin-up is a type of centerfold, not all centerfolds are pin-ups (in the sexual sense). I used to subscribe to a nature magazine wherein the centerfold was typically of a wild animal.

Edit: Wikipedia reveals that the term centerfold was coined by Playboy's very own Hugh Hefner, so it's not free of sexual connotations for some. Probably because it sounds like the more neutral of the two terms, though, it's the one that has been picked up and used by publications like Time and National Geographic.

Edit #2: You might just call it an insert or a photographic insert. These have no dangerous associations.

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Even so, I'd avoid centrefold, which can be more explicit than ( the often retro/50s) pinup. Just ask Google Images. –  Hugo Nov 13 '11 at 8:44
    
@Hugo Fair enough (though that's just as much a symptom of the ratio of sexy images to non-sexy images on the web, if you ask me). All I can say is if someone from an architecture magazine started talking about next month's centerfold, I wouldn't even think to imagine anything raunchy. –  onomatomaniak Nov 13 '11 at 8:57
    
I think part of the basic problem is that the first centerfolds were sexy, and other magazines knew a good idea when they saw it (which may tell us something about the reading habits of magazine executives). –  onomatomaniak Nov 13 '11 at 8:58
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Oh dear. I'd consider "centerfold" to be considered explicitly sexual, referring specifically to the Playboy centerfolds. "Centerfold" is also used to refer to the women themselves, not just to the paper product (whereas a pin-up refers to the poster; the object would be a "pin-up girl"). And nudity is a step more extreme than 50's sex symbols. If "pin-up" is considered more sexual than "centerfold"... oy. –  Standback Nov 13 '11 at 10:25
    
@Standback I'm actually really curious how opinions will vary. It could well be that I'm way in the minority on this topic. –  onomatomaniak Nov 13 '11 at 10:29

I'd avoid centrefold, which can be much more explicit than the often retro/50s pinup.

What I'm after is "a cheap, lightweight poster, roughly A3 or A2 in size." (My specific purpose is for a promotional item I think would be nice for Writers.SE.

I agree with Barrie, stick with promotional poster. In fact, the simpler poster definitely fits the bill:

A poster is any piece of printed paper designed to be attached to a wall or vertical surface. Typically posters include both textual and graphic elements, although a poster may be either wholly graphical or wholly text. Posters are designed to be both eye-catching and informative. Posters may be used for many purposes. They are a frequent tool of advertisers (particularly of events, musicians and films), propagandists, protestors and other groups trying to communicate a message. Posters are also used for reproductions of artwork, particularly famous works, and are generally low-cost compared to original artwork. Another type of poster is the educational poster, which may be about a particular subject for educational purposes.

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The OED's definition of pin-up is:

Of a photograph of a person: intended for display on a wall, etc. Of a person: being, or worthy of being, the subject of such a picture; glamorous, attractive.

I think we'd need to know a little more about the poster you have in mind before suggesting how it could be described.

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What I'm after is "a cheap, lightweight poster, roughly A3 or A2 in size." (My specific purpose is for a promotional item I think would be nice for Writers.SE.) –  Standback Nov 13 '11 at 10:22
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@Standback:In that case, I can't think of anything that would be more descriptive than 'promotional poster'. –  Barrie England Nov 13 '11 at 10:32

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