Is there a better term than "wide handrail" for stone (or similar material) balustrades wide enough that a person can lie on? I'm looking for a word that when put into Google Image search, would produce something like this:

enter image description here

I've tried "railing", "rail", "balustrade", "parapet", but they all produce narrow railings.

  • 2
    The man is lying on the balustrade, not laying on it! I don't think there is any specific word; you could try broad as well as wide. Jan 10, 2020 at 9:02
  • I tried both "stone balustrade" and "stone parapet" and got reasonable image results.
    – AndyT
    Jan 10, 2020 at 11:21
  • I tried the words suggested in Google Images, and came to the conclusion that Google Images doesn't properly understand either balustrade or parapet. And I certainly wouldn't call anything I could lie comfortably on a rail, most certainly not a handrail which carries the connotation that I can (perhaps comfortably) get a grip on it with my hand. Jan 10, 2020 at 11:39
  • 1
    Corcovado on a clear day.
    – Centaurus
    Jan 12, 2020 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


Although a Google search doesn't show many image results, parapet is the right word for the place where the guy is lying.

parapet - [ˈper-ə-pət , -ˌpet, ˈpa-rə-] A low wall along the edge of something high such as a bridge or roof, a low wall or railing along the edge of a balcony, roof, etc.

enter image description here

Etymology - 1580s, from Middle French parapet "breastwork" (16c.), or directly from Italian parapetto, from para- "defense" (see para- (2)) + petto "breast," from Latin pectus (see pectoral (adj.))

The above picture shows how the Italian word "parapetto", which means "supports the chest", fits perfectly what the structure is supposed to be used for.

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