Take a piece of paper or a blanket or something lying flat, with an object lying on top of it. Now the paper/blanket is folded up to wrap the object. What were the opposite sides of the wrapper now meet in the middle on top of the object, or they may overlap but there will still be an end-point of the wrapping.

What is a word for where they meet? i.e. where you could put your hand under/inside (assuming it wasn't taped together) to unwrap it again.

The closest I can think of is seam but that doesn't strike me as correct.

Sample sentence: "Holding back his excitement, Aloysius carefully inserted his hand under the XXXX of the wrapping paper and slowly unwrapped his gift"

  • 4
    In that sentence I'd probably just use 'edge'. I might otherwise say he 'slid his hand under the wrapping paper at the join'. I would only call it a seam if the two insides of the wrapping had been brought together and then folded over such that no edge of the fabric itself was visible, but Aloysius wouldn't be able to slide his hand under that for more than the depth of the seam. And frankly, he wants to relax a bit and just rip that wrapping off, poor lad.
    – Spagirl
    Oct 12, 2016 at 11:19
  • You can use join as a noun (ODO have removed all their <a> anchors: you'll need to scroll down.)
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 12, 2016 at 12:31

3 Answers 3


A join is the place where two edges or parts come together.

Join is subtly different from joint in that a joint tends to be more complex, more carefully constructed and more permanent. For instance two pieces of paper have a join when they are stuck together but two pieces of wood are fastened together with a joint when they are shaped into complementary (usually male and female) parts, glued and then fitted together see this list of simple joints

Out of interest two pieces of wallpaper have a join where they meet even though each is stuck individually to the wall and not, usually, overlapped. Hairpieces and wigs are also said to have a join with the natural hair. This lead to the British classic comedians Morecambe and Wise using the catchphrase "You can't see the join" to get a laugh out of the idea that Ernie Wise had a hairpiece.

  • The correct answer, but it's hard to find a decent dictionary example of the join in the wrapping paper on a parcel say. The well-known authority Pressies 4 princesses has: "10. Square up the join – it should be running parallel to the cylinder's sides – and tape in the middle." Not that I understand the parenthetical. Oct 12, 2016 at 17:22
  • @EdwinAshworth The parenthesis seems alright to me, it's about wrapping a cylindrical object like a bottle. The idea is that the paper should be wrapped around the cylinder longways rather than over the ends and the edges should be straight rather than twisted around the cylinder.
    – BoldBen
    Oct 14, 2016 at 18:20
  • From Reference.com: Q _ How many sides does a cylinder have? A _ A cylinder has three faces: two circular bases with one [curved] rectangular lateral area between them. Because a cylinder is a curved figure, the term "sides" is not used to describe its shape. Oct 14, 2016 at 19:32
  • @EdwinAshworth Prisms become more cylindrical as the number of sides increases, finally tending towards a true cylinder as the number of sides tends to infinity. However on the micro scale real things like bottles and tubes have a very large number of roughly flat faces roughly parallel to the central axis of the object giving the appearence of cylindrical shape on the macro scale. I must admit I'd have preferred "Parallel to the cental axis of the cylinder" but I'm not sure how well that terminology would have worked with the target audience of a website called "Pressies 4 princesses".
    – BoldBen
    Oct 16, 2016 at 12:08

fold, noun

  1. A part that has been folded over or against another: the loose folds of the drapery; clothes stacked in neat folds.TFD

"Holding back his excitement, Aloysius carefully inserted his hand [under; between; beneath] the folds of the wrapping paper and slowly unwrapped his gift."

  • Just don't use betwixt ;)
    – Mazura
    Oct 12, 2016 at 14:09

I work in a long-seam pipe mill where we roll sheet steel into tubes and weld it down its length. We use a variety of terms to refer to the skelp edges depending on context.

Most frequently, we say seam, even when the edges are not welded, such as the phrase "it has open-seam", and many of our machines have parts called "seam-turners", despite them actually turning the pipe whole.

We only say "join" when referring to the steel in the last couple of forming rolls immediately prior to welding, a space of 2 ft.

We sometimes refer to the edges themselves as a "slit", but only if they were actually cut as part of the coiling process prior to transport. (A single sheet is cut into 3 "slits" and rolled into big coils, the 2 inside cuts are sometimes referred to by the same term.)

A misalignment can cause the steel to "overlap". We consider it a defect in our product, but I think that's the best word to describe what you're talking about. In most usage you can abbreviate that down to just a "lap", but never say that word to describe steel unless you are talking about a very specific manufacturing defect.

On some machine parts, like various ring-clamps, taper-locks, and snap-rings, there is a gap called a split. This may also work under certain contexts.

  • 1
    I think we must have been working on our answers at the same time. I think the use of join in your mill matches that in my post in that it is where the edges of the steel come together but are not yet welded to form a seam.
    – BoldBen
    Oct 12, 2016 at 15:40
  • Yes. We were. And yes, that's mostly correct. (We still call it a seam after the welder, even if it didn't weld at all for whatever reason. I think that's just jargon though.) Oct 12, 2016 at 16:01
  • 1
    Sounds right to me, you've made an attempt to weld it and it's failed. It's the same principle as someone sewing a garment and the machine running out thread. I think you'd call it a failed seam.
    – BoldBen
    Oct 14, 2016 at 18:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.