Picture of a clip holding paper

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

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Mar 17 '18 at 13:24

I think the term is bulldog clip:

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

(MacMillan Dictionary)

Bulldog clip (British)

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


enter image description here

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    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. – Matt E. Эллен Feb 23 '18 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 Feb 23 '18 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 Payne Feb 24 '18 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. – Matt E. Эллен Feb 26 '18 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 Feb 26 '18 at 11:41

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

enter image description here

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). – Sean Pianka Feb 22 '18 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 Feb 22 '18 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 Feb 22 '18 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 Feb 22 '18 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. – Mark Foskey Feb 23 '18 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.

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    What about this:ldoceonline.com/dictionary/bulldog-clip – user121863 Feb 23 '18 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 Feb 23 '18 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 Feb 23 '18 at 16:10
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    +1 for the valuable and interesting history on "bulldog clip"! – endemic Feb 24 '18 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 Feb 26 '18 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. – Jeremy Visser Feb 23 '18 at 22:18

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