I found this word in Terry Pratchett's Going Postal, and I can't find a definition for it anywhere. Any help?

A few feet beyond there was the familiar wall of letters, packed as tight as rock strata. A watchman had been in here, too. Someone had tried to break through the wordface, and Moist could see the hole.


  • 3
    It would seem you can figure out what it means from the context. There's a facing on the wall of letters. Someone had cracked through some of the letters, or tried to.
    – Xanne
    Aug 4, 2017 at 20:55

2 Answers 2


This is a neologism based on the term rock face.

A bare vertical surface of natural rock.

But because this surface is composed of tightly packed letters written on paper, Pratchett chooses to call it a wordface.

  • Perhaps the intended analogy is more specific, coalface (the part of a mine that's currently being cut). Dec 12, 2020 at 8:56

Pterry is coining a neologism, making up the term "wordface" by analogy to "cliff-face." (Note the "rock strata" analogy.) He's just playing with the language.

(Later: Ah, missed it by that much!)

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