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.

  • "Fiber" or "thread" might work... (even though you mentioned "thread" already - I think "thread" is actually fairly generic)
    – Adam
    Commented Feb 26, 2011 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
    Commented Jan 1, 2012 at 14:47
  • @Mitch: Yes, I asked because I have a motivation. I understand that not all concepts map to English words.
    – chaos
    Commented Jan 1, 2012 at 18:34
  • @chaos: OK then, what is your motivation?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 1, 2012 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
    Commented Jan 1, 2012 at 23:37

3 Answers 3


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

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


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."


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

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