I want to know the precise English word for the paper wrapped around these notebooks.

strip of paper wrapped around three notebooks

  • 19
    Just a warning, i have read the answers, and I wouldn't know what they were talking about if I had read any of them, before today.
    – WendyG
    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 14:25
  • On a hunch, I did a search on "paper strap", and saw an advertisement for "bill straps" to bind currency banknotes together in a similar way. Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 17:24
  • 1
    There very likely isn't a precise English word for this particular thing.
    – N. Virgo
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 13:07
  • There are several precise words for this thing, @N.Virgo. Which one you choose is probably going to be determined by what particular industry you work in and what others in that industry call said "little paper band thing".
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 18:14
  • There's a difference between ''there is not a word for X'' and ''there is a word but most native speakers don't know it''. Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 19:52

5 Answers 5


It is a bellyband:

a band of paper around a new book, usually printed with information about the book's contents and sometimes used instead of a book jacket.


a band that is used as packaging or decoration around a book, magazine, or similar item.

(Merriam Webster)

enter image description here (rhollick.wordpress.com)

enter image description here (www.pinterest.it)

  • 4
    Are you sure? The OP's picture is not of a book, but of three notebooks; blank notebooks that can be written in. The band of paper around those three notebooks is used to bind them together in a packaging that makes it clear it's a set of three. That looks very different from the belly band used in libraries for newly-published books and it probably doesn't have the same name.
    – Stef
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 13:49
  • 2
    @Stef - yes, bellyband applies to the OP pictures as well. As you can see from the description the band is..”usually printed with information about the book's contents”. The band provides information of what is inside, be it a book or a memo book.
    – user 66974
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 13:53
  • 7
    Oxford Languages Dictionary gives a broader definition: bellyband: a band wrapped around an item of merchandise, especially a book or magazine. Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 14:04
  • 2
    No law against using two references. A single dictionary may be incomplete / out-of-date / over-tolerant / noncomprehensive .... You can be almost certain that OL have justification for their choice of 'item of merchandise, especially ...' here. Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 14:15
  • 4
    I am absolutely persuaded by the references cited this is the right answer, but as a native speaker who still reads paper books a fair bit, I did not know this word before today. Unless speaking to someone who works in the publishing industry, it may be helpful to provide abundant context or even a full definition before using this word if you want to be understood. Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 22:57


Apart from the formal / technical answers already posted, in everyday conversation (England, UK) I'd simply refer to it as a sleeve (or a cardboard sleeve).


a cover to protect something:

Can you put the record back in its sleeve, please?


a tube-shaped covering

(The dictionary definition says "to protect a part of a machine", but common usage would be a lot more general than that)

If you do an image search for "cardboard sleeve" in your favourite search engine you'll find a fair number of similar examples...

  • A sleeve is normally intended for protection, as the Cambridge definition you quote says - records most notably, but also DVDs, video games, knives, etc. This little strip doesn't protect anything. It's not a bad suggestion, but there seem to be more exact alternatives.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 9:58
  • @StuartF - The other answers are definitely more precise (which the OP asked for, tbf), but they sounds more like technical terms used in the packaging industry rather than general day-to-day use - I've never heard them before. Depends on what the OP wants I guess - doesn't hurt to have another option :-)...
    – mclayton
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 10:11
  • @StuartF sometimes the exact word isn't actually useful for a general audience
    – WendyG
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 15:36

wrap-around band

A paper strip wrapped around a book like a dust jacket, but smaller in height than the book. It is typically used for promotional purposes and may be added post-publication .**..

From: wrap-around band in The Oxford Companion to the Book

Subjects: Literature — Bibliography

The Oxford Companion to the Book

The same would go for the notebooks in the question.

paper bands

Or, less fancy, just paper bands:




I would have called this an obi (on Wiktionary as “A strip of paper looped around a book or other product”). But this is possibly just jargon relating to the paper strips included with CDs and games imported from Japan where the word originates.

  • 3
    An obi is a Japanese sash for traditional dress.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 23:34
  • 2
    Wikipedia says that it is an Obi, and then adds that "In English, the term belly-band is sometimes used instead". Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 1:54
  • @Lambie It can be. It is also the buckle-less belt used in the gi of various traditional Japanese martial arts.
    – Kirt
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 15:55

wrapper noun the cover,
1)usually of paper or cellophane, in which something is wrapped
2)a dust jacket of a book


Just because the wrapper has got very small and less wasteful, that is what it is, the wrapper holding 3 books together.

And in a sentence

Just take that little wrapper off the books so we can get started.

  • 1
    Do you mean "take that little wrapper off (of) the books"?
    – Brandin
    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 14:31
  • @Brandin most likely
    – WendyG
    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 14:32
  • Candy wrapper. Here, they seem to mean the dust jacket....
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 19:05

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