I want to search for images of this clamp. What do you call this in English?

Clamp: The black, rectangular part grabs the paper, and there are two metal loops hanging off the top, which are squeezed to release the clip's grip

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    – tchrist
    Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 13:24

5 Answers 5


I think the term is bulldog clip:

  • a small metal object that shuts tightly to hold papers together.

(source: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English)

Bulldog clip (British)

  • A strong sprung metal device with two flat plates that close so as to hold papers together.

(source: Oxford Dictionary) (British)

Black metal binding clip

  • 11
    Please don't vandalise your answer. I understand that you no longer want to participate in the discussion surrounding it, however flagging your post would have been sufficient. I think if you highlight that your answer is specific to British English, then you should be fine. I'll back you up on that. Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 16:24
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    I generally think of bulldog clips as a similar but distinct design, as shown on wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulldog_clip
    – fectin
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 23:38
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    The problem isn't about British/American English. It's that the item is not a Bulldog Clip, it's a Foldback Clip. Not a matter of brand name. Quite different construction. Some sources confuse the two. Let's not perpetuate the confusion!
    – Laurence
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 14:21
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    @DavidRicherby If you think the term applies to more than British English that' fine, but I'm 100% certain that the picture is of a bulldog clip. that's what I've called them ever since I encountered them and I didn't learn it in a vaccum. Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 9:18
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    @DavidRicherby It's called a bulldog clip in the UK. If you ask the average administrator for a bulldog clip, this is what you'll be given. If you try to buy a bulldog clip, this is what comes up. That might not be its correct name, but that's what it's called.
    – Separatrix
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 11:41

Binder clip, also known as a foldback or banker's clip.

It is called a binder clip because the bent metal clips may be removed, creating a semi-permanent binding (see right).

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    Colloquially, I believe binder clip is far more commonly used in the U.S. as compared to bulldog clip (a name which I've never heard used before). Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 18:11
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    I am an AE-speaker with limited exposure to BE and had never encountered "bulldog clip" until just now. I find it curious that the asker tagged their question as pertaining to AE, but accepted an answer based on BE usage.
    – njuffa
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 18:24
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    To be honest, before I looked it up, I just called it one of those big black paperclip thingies.
    – KarlG
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 18:32
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    @SeanPianka Bulldog clip is a British name, it's not wrong or inferior in any shape or form to binder clip a term I had never heard of, until today that is.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 20:22
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    For what it's worth, I am an American who always thought those were called "bulldog clips" and had no idea that was considered to be a British term. Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 4:37

This is a Bulldog Clip

Bulldog clip

so called because it is a brand name registered in 1944.

The type of clip in question is much later and inherited the name in some places and inherited the locally-applied name elsewhere. Sometimes it's called a "fold-back" clip.

I'd suggest the precise type has has a name that varies depending on the audience - and it's a little unclear whether OP is interested in the precise type pictured or the name(s) for all clips that would fulfill this function.

OTOH, it's not a paper-clip.

  • 1
    What about this:ldoceonline.com/dictionary/bulldog-clip
    – user 66974
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 15:29
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    @user5768790 : dictionary definitions are fine if you want to know what is meant by a word or phrase, but not when you need to find a word or phrase that means something. A bit like "help" functions nowadays - only useful once you happen on a keyword. "Bulldog" is a proprietary eponym - a proprietary word that has become synonymous with a function, like "Xerox=photocopy=photostat" or "Hoover=vacuum-cleaner". You might say you "vacuum" the floor or you "hoover" the floor and be just as well understood. You wouldn't say you "Dyson" the floor, though.
    – Magoo
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 16:01
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    It would probably be called a "Bulldog Clip" as that is the name that has been used for decades for a device with a similar function that has largely been replaced by the clip that you originally posted. The usage would not be universally understood, but I doubt that any term would be in this instance. Were you to send ten people out in ten different locations on a mission to buy some "Bulldog Clips" or any other term that has been suggested, I would not be suprised at the variety of objects that would be returned.
    – Magoo
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 16:10
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    +1 for the valuable and interesting history on "bulldog clip"!
    – endemic
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 22:09
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    @Magoo then you should amend your answer to make that clearer. It reads like a headline stating that OP's clip is a bulldog clip.
    – Michael
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 18:02

In Australia, I'm used to them being called Butterfly Clips. Since then, the same name has been attributed to a certain type of hair clips, however.

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    As an Australian, I've only ever heard these described as bulldog clips. Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 22:18
  • And I'm an American that has lived and worked in 20 US states, and butterfly clip is the only name I know for this thing. I have never heard of bulldog clips (although I still have several of those things identified as such). I have heard of binder clips maybe once or twice in my life. But I couldn't pin that term down to any particular item.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 0:49

I tried Amazon.com ... I found both:
(1) Binder clip

(2) Bulldog clip
So, not the same. (In the US)

(3) Butterfly clip ... these seemed to be only hair clips.

(4) Foldback clip ... this search linked to "binder clips" (above); in one case called "foldback binder clips".

Trying amazon.co.uk ... "Bulldog clips" produced both kinds of clips. With labels {Bulldog, Binder, Foldback, Letter} clips.

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