Glossary of Jigsaw Puzzle Terms
It cannot have escaped our attention that people in different parts of the world and, indeed,
of the U.S.A., sometimes use different terms in discussing or describing jigsaw puzzles and the
activities associated therewith. We will try here to accumulate a few which we have seen in letters
to this website and in our own experience.
Any terms and comments can be directed to our Mail Center .
Thanks, Jim McW
From Keith in the U.K.:
1. Whimsies - The fancy shapes included in some puzzles. This comes from the early cutters who would sometimes cut fancy shapes on a whim.
2.Contour cut. - The cut that follows the natural line or lines of the picture such as the head , the best example is a map puzzle that follows the Counties in U.K. or the States on a Map of U.S.A.
3. Antique Puzzles - Puzzles generally before 1890, before printing was used to manufacture puzzles,the period when they were hand cut and hand coloured.
4.Vintage - To my mind this is 1900 to WWII. I'm not sure what post WWII is?
5.C cut - The normal interlocking cut in the shape of a C.
6. S cut - Two C cuts next to each other the second reversed to form locks on pieces both sides of the cut.
7. O/B - Original Box.
8. Straight Cut - a direct cut between two C cuts . Look at a modern puzzle and you will see what I mean.
9 Wavy Cut - Often the first cut on a large hand cut puzzle where the large board was cut in two with a wavy line.
10 . Push fit - Non interlocking pieces as in the early Tuco puzzles and, of course, most Antique puzzles.
From Jim McW in the U.S.A.:
·Tabs - The protruding parts of pieces.
Some terms are slang or humorous. Jigsaw assembly by a group may involve a bit of friendly
competition and/or ribbing:
·piece thief - a person who
a) puts a piece in an area being worked on by another person in the group
b) hoards all the pieces on one side of the board or table
c) hides pieces he or she KNOWS other persons are looking for!
·piece hoarder - See above.
·busy body - a person who tries many pieces in many spots very rapidly, all over the puzzle, in such a way as to prevent anyone else from being able to place their pieces.
·squiggledy piece - a piece with an otherwise hard-to-describe shape
·For a REALLY humorous treatment of jigsaw puzzle terminology, see jigpuzzliana! [McW- Unfortunately, now a dead link]
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