"Sides" can be used to describe positioning relative to the left or right of an object. Is there a corresponding word that has the same meaning for the top or bottom of an object?

For example, if I say "side padding," it's pretty clear that I'm talking about padding from the left and right edge. I want to be able to say the same thing about the top and bottom edge.

  • english.stackexchange.com/questions/58950/… is related, but not a dupe as it talks about personal orientation rather than that of an object from an external point of view. Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 4:57
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    I think you are stuck with "top and bottom padding". You might be able to talk about "horizontal faces" but that might not be applicable to all objects or orientations and it certainly doesn't work well as "horizontal face padding".
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 5:27
  • I'm not sure if you will get an appropriate answer here in case you are working on the CSS of a web-page. Just a thought. Otherwise, @Varagrawal has made a point in his answer. Think about "perpendicular padding".
    – Fr0zenFyr
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 6:01
  • Reminds me of an interview with the TimeCube guy. "How can you call the top and bottom sides of a cube sides?"
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 14:10
  • @Fr0zenFyr: Actually I'm working on iOS, but I get your point. :)
    – user4012
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 20:18

2 Answers 2


I believe you can use the phrase "Vertical padding" to analogize the meaning with respect to top and bottom.

Another way to think about it is that the padding on the side can be referenced as Lateral padding, so you could even use "Non-lateral padding" as a reference.

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    If I saw "vertical padding" I would think of padding that was oriented vertically.
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 5:28
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    So it does make sense right, according to the context of the question? Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 5:31
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    No, it doesn't. Vertical padding would be padding affixed to the sides of an object.
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 6:01
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    I am speaking here, about physical objects with spongy material on the sides. IF we are talking about web pages and extra space at the top and bottom of a table or cell in a table, then that's a completely different thing.
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 6:04
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    Since there is an alignment for TDs called "valign" (Verticle Align) that accepts positions "Top","Bottom" or "Middle", then I think that "Verticle Padding" makes sence in this context if you mean padding-top and padding-bottom.
    – TecBrat
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 12:43

A box has sides, and it has ends.

But saying top and bottom doesn’t seem so onerous. English is versatile like that.