The Addictionary of Oxford English | Paperclip

Posted by Sir Alexander Johns | Jul 24, 2017 | Addiction, The Addictionary of Oxford English | 0 |

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Definition of paperclip (noun) in English:



1 [noun] A piece of bent wire or plastic used for holding several sheets of paper together.

 “People come to me for two things: E’s and paperclips. Oh, and Molly… and Crystal… and Mary Jane.” Oxford English

Paperclip Quotes about Oxford English

“Oxford’s granddad always used to say he invented the paperclip, and swore Samuel B. Fray as his enemy for copying his idea. He sold the idea to Gem Manufacturing for fifty quid. You know how much money he would have gotten if he’d patented it?  Enough that Oxford wouldn’t have ended up in an orphanage, that’s how much. I think he’s got some hang-ups about it. Probably wouldn’t have had to sue the makers of the OED if he’d had that paperclip fortune. Needless to say, he’s proud of his… paperclip heritage and has been obsessed with them ever since.” Royston Humphreys (Self-Proclaimed Historian)

“Oxford, always the snake oil salesman, once tried to make an honest living by going door-to-door selling vintage paperclips. Unfortunately, most people don’t share his fascination with things that bind paper together. I did end up throwing a fiver at him for this 1897 Niagara Clip he wouldn’t stop raving about. I lost it the next day, ‘cause, you know, it’s a bloody paperclip.” – Tilda Warrendale (Neighbor, 1982)

“He bought that bleedin’ $180 Prada paperclip! I ain’t even joking! Came back to the shop just last week — heard the big fuss over it on Facebook and had to get one of his own. Talked to me about his grandfather and how proud he’d be to give it to him. Could’a bought me a decent Michael Kors bag for that price.”  –Martha Gables (Mistress # 348)

“Remember Clippy, that wee paperclip that’s always trying to help you with your documents in Microsoft Word 98 or whatever? Drove us all mad back in the day. Clippy and his stupid, buggy little eyes. Treating us like we’d never seen a word processor before. I mean, we all had Lotus notes for years, so like whatever. For some reason, Oxford loved that little bugger. When we worked together at Birtwistle Paper Products, he had a Clippy plush toy he kept at his desk. One day, Clippy just… disappeared. No one ever found out what happened to that little thing, but I did see some polyester stuffing in the loo rubbish bin…” Felicity Hawtrey (Receptionist at Birtwistle Paper Products, 1993-2008)

“Have you ever been to Miass City? It’s this depressing toad-in-the-hole place. Just north of Kazakhstan, in Russia. Oh, you haven’t been? Guess what you missed out on! The biggest paperclip in the God-forsaken! world! It was Oxford’s idea for our honeymoon. We had to travel by donkey just to get there.” Diana English (Ex-Wife #5 and #7)


Paper: Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French papir, from Latin papyrus ‘paper-reed’ (see papyrus). The verb dates from the late 16th century.

Clip: Middle English: from Old Norse klippa, probably imitative.


Paperclip /ˈpeɪpə-klɪp/

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This Dictionary entry was curated by Sir Alexander Johns.

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