Many people send me random emails asking what certain origami-related words mean. I thought I’d save time by sharing this dictionori® with you. Please send in any additional entries. Entries are mostly provided by Edna Wrinkles, Bronco Sinkin and Anne Wybrow, to whom I am deeply (but not financially) indebted.
accusatori : a facial expression adopted when your models have been moved to a less prominent place on an exhibition table.
ambulatori : a paper:fold that can move of it’s own volition.
amplifolder : device for making the satisfying rustling noise of folding louder. Suspected of being used by composers such as Karl:Heinz Stockhausen and Paulo Jacksonioni.
amplifolding : the practice of always making your first attempt at a model with a larger piece of paper than is actually necessary.
balloon : Euphemistic name for the water:bomb in the vain hope that small
children won’t see the ballistic possibilities if you give it a different name.
binori : A fold that can be done in two ways. (or a model that looks like two different things)
blintzkrieg : a lightning fast way to fold corners to the centre.
BOGS : British Origami Gourmet Society : a group of paperfolders who practise folding during meals (see poppadom)
bosket : any small gathering of folders at a BOS convention. (or a container for paper from supplies)
boston : Unit of weight equivalent to the combined weight of all BOS Council members.
Bronco Sinkin : legendary origami master
Collapse: what you do after folding a black forest cuckoo clock
Conservatori: acetate model for growing hothouse origami flowers
Crease: a fold in the wrong place.
Crimp: a tightening or spasm of the finger muscles common to Autralian and South African folders.
Crimplene: fabric designed especially for folding.
Creosote: protective coating for models.
Crumple: alternative name for a closed sink.
Crepe: descriptive of any paper that isn’t good for folding.
Creep: someone who over:praises your mediocre designs
derogatori: description of a poorly folded model
diamond base: the most expensive base in the world
diaper fold: a particularly smelly move during wet:folding
dictionori:: whimsical definitions by Hanson and Wrinkles
diori: A Fold:a:day calendar. (plural : dioria)
discipline: a very strict way of folding paper in half
dodecahedron: a geometrically shaped bird, now extinct
double rabbit ear: (c.f. Fish base)
a) Least descriptive fold name in origami
b) What you’re supposed to do to that 16 layer leg to make it thinner
duo: where a model is made by two people, each supplying one hand
Easy Origami: the book everyone has, by one of 11 possible authors.
editor : a job within the BOS council, generally for life, if not longer.
Ed Winkery : a respected creator of elegant designs who speaks 13 languages fluently.
ELFA: Society dedicated to saving money on envelopes (nb. it is not how to pronounce Elsje van der Ploeg’s first name)
Elias bleating : a noise made by paper sheep
euph:ori:a: the feeling on discovering a new fold
exemplori: beautifully folded models
explanatori: Helpful text that accompanies diagrams
exploratori: Doodling with paper in the hope that it might eventually look like something.
Fish Base: where the military fish hang out
Flipping Bird: an obscure variant of the well known design, which spontaneously turns over
Flobbing Bird: another variant with a tendancy towards expectoration
Flopping Bird: one whose wings simply can’t make it past half way
Foil: to prevent someone completing a design
Folded edge: a gently curving line
Folding Australia: a technique where the folder must be upside down at all times
Geometric fold : models of the earth made using paper measured in centimetres
Gestatori period : time it takes from initial idea to finishing the
Giunta : Italian origami society where you must do as you are told
Glider : a paper plane that lands before it should do
gori : paper cuts
Golden Rectangle : The one where you finally managed to cut the correct
dimensions AND the corners are rights angles.
Golden Venture : a model made from several million sheets of paper where a single sheet would have produced better results.
Grain of paper : the axis of strength in paper : vital to determine this before folding a poppadom
Grasshopper : a rare genus that only has two back legs
Grigori : Any fold originating from Russia is a ‘Grigori’
Gyratori : origami spinning tops.
Histori : 1) Folding old models 2) The writings of David Lister
Hatori : Folding axiomatic headgear
Honda : any origami motorbike
Harris : To ‘Harris’ is to be unable to see how to get from one diagram to the next (“Can you see what it is yet?”)
Half : The starting instruction for more than 50% of all origami models.
Hand : Main origami tool. Most people have at least one less than they would like when assembling modulars.
Horatio : the proportions of a sheet of navel stationary
Ice cream fold : a fold likely to induce paper cuts
Idoru : a fold that one admires
Ikebana the other Japanese hobby that everybody knows the name of
Illusori : models that don’t look anything like the intended subject
Imagiro : reverse engineering a model
Imaginori : the model you wish you could create
Inflammatori : origami that could (or should) be burned
Isao : traditional Japanese cry when the paper splits
Ichi-go : leaving a folding session for a good scratch
Ivori : a colour change to show the white side (from the practice of making elephants)
Jack the ripper : someone who folds complex models with indecent haste
Jackanori : story told using origami as illustrations
Jacksonian folding : models with an inadequate number of limbs, eg. a horse with three legs, a cow with no legs etc
Jackstone : a rite of passage fold – “have you made the jackstone yet?”
Jeffori : available at a bargain price from BOS supplies
Jiggori-pokori: adjusting a model so it actually looks like the intended subject
Joisel : a tool for making hooles in a sheet of paper
Judgement fold : the model you make when your verdict is announced
Judiciori : unelected arbiters of origami taste, Often found on lists and forums
Jumping frog : opposite of a non-jumping or static frog
June : acronym for “Japanese Understood Nearly Everywhere” – an attractive and compact shareware translation software converting from English and American to Japanese
Kamiya : East Londoner’s phrase requesting your presence e.g. “Oi! You! Kamiya”
Kan-no-mado : Japanese for “I can’t make it”
Karsigami : folding the end of a toilet roll
Kazmierski : a rude Russian word used when your paper has ripped during the final step
Killer Whale : a sea-going mammal that is particularly hard to fold
Kirigami : the use of scissors to solve origami design problems
Kiss of death : inflating your frog just that bit too far
Kite fold : any design that flies in the air when the wind catches it
Knavori : the presentation of someone else’s design as your own work
Knotologie : complex designs that cannot be unfolded
Kokigami : showing off your latest design to absolutely everyone you meet
Ku Klux Klan : obscure rascist cult who only fold with white paper
La Fosse : a restaurant in the centre of Cardiff
Landmark : the location a folded corner or edge doesn’t quite meet
Lang : a classic early creation of the Treemaker software
Lavatori : folding the ends of toilet rolls (see Karsigami)
Le Pli : a masculine fold
Legislatori : the laws of origami
Leveque : French folder referenced in the song “Gentile Alouette”
Librori : Any collection of origami books
Lingorie : Underwear folded from flimsy, lacypaper
Listers : people who compile facts about origami history
Literori : writing about folding
Lorilei : Paper mermaid, said to lure folders to their death with her enticing creases
Luminori : a) an Eminent Folder or b) a folded lampshade
Maekawa hand : condition caused by spending too long folding (c.f. RSI: Repetitive Sink Injury)
Mandatori : models so good that you MUST fold them
Militori : paper weaponry (c.f. waterbomb)
Minigami : folding small cars
Minor miracle : a non-folder guessing the model first time
Modular origami : euphemism for folding the same thing 200 times. Often causes Maekawa Hand
Module : a fold with a flap designed to fall out of a matching pocket
Momentori : folding very quickly
Money folding : origami for rich people
Montroll : French garden gnome
Mountain fold : an obscure genre of origami devoted to making models of mountains
Multiple : repeated use of a flapping bird
Nacelle : part of a highly accurate paper plane
Napkin fold : folding on your knees during a meal
Naughty Origami : Using cuts or glue
Neale : favoured folding posture of buddhist monks
NOA : opposite of YEA
Noboru : a) Origami that is not for loan b) private folding
Noshi : a) Edible origami b) a male folder
Nori : folding seaweed
Noria : a water wheel with buckets attached to the rim
Norn : the fate who decides whether paper will tear or not
Norminton : a standard unit of weight for origami designs
Nugatori : a) An unsatisfactory fold b) Folding sheets of nutty candy.
O-shide : a badly folded pleat
Obligatori : adv: Models that every folder should have folded at least once (q.v. crane)
Octagon : when 8 folders leave a class half way through
Off-hand : when you drop a sheet of paper whilst folding
Offline : when an edge doesn’t line up with a crease (see Online)
O’Hare : a folded irish rabbit
Online : when an edge actually lines up with a crease (see Offline)
Oreguano : a poorly folded model
Orifice : generic term for Joisel masks
Origami : folding a sheet of paper to produce a model that no-one recognises
Origmarole : a model that is hard work to fold
Oriole : the center of the paper after wet-folding a blintzed frog-base
Orison : offspring of a paper-folder (cf John Montroll Junior, Paul Jackson III)
One Crease : a part of an origami folding sequence
Ori-casa : a Spanish folders residence
Origin : a folders favourite tipple
Orympic Medal : an award to talented folders
Oshi-dashi : a strongly and quickly performed squash fold
O’Toole : an aid to folding, (see bone folder)
OUSA : a wet-folded model that hasn’t dried properly
Outside reverse : to perform a three-point turn in the street
Ow : a Singaporean paper-cut
Papal : a means of online payment when ordering origami supplies from the church
Pajarita : Spanish word for ‘small unidentified three-limbed creature’.
Palacios: – Spanish term meaning’unhelpful diagram’
Paper: – common folding substance that is never
a) as square as it should be
b) as thin or strong as you want it to be or
c) as cheap as you told your other half
Paperfolder : Someone who can’t bring themselves to say ‘origamist’
Paper Plane : any design that looks like it will fly, but doesn’t
Poppadom : People Out Practising Paperfolding And Dining On Masala – a group of folders who enjoy Indian food (See BOGS)
Precrease: a teachers term for a crease incorrectly taught
Prehistoric Origami : Anything folded B.Y. (Before Yoshizawa)
Preliminary Base : the first house you ever folded
Pulp : What paper is made from by papermakers, and turned into by paperfolders
Quango : a local origami group outside the control of the BOS
Quantity : how many sheets you need to make a neat example
Quash : an unfinished squash
Quench : the final step of a wet-folded model made under hot conditions
Quick : the opposite of neat
Quickstep : folding Elias’ last waltz in 30 seconds.
Quilt : an origami bedspread that needs a huge starting square
Quire : sheet of paper folded into a tuneful singing group
Quiz : a diffcult set of diagrams
Quorum : the number of folders required to decide if a model is any good
Quiddity : the difference between origami penguins
Quintuplet : a five fold model
Quit : instruction number 365 of the black forest cuckoo clock
Rabbit’s ear : a fold that looks like anything other than an actual rabbit’s ear
Rabbit’s tear : an incorrectly folded rabbit ear.
RAT fold : a model of a rodent
Recrimatori : making snide comments about someones model
Reference finder : someone who shows you where to fold to
Repeat behind : the result of folding too many cans of beans
Repetitori : folding modules for a tri-rhombi-dosi-do-deca-hedron
Repertori : all the models you can make without needing the diagrams
Reverse : to unfold a model back to the square
Right angle : whichever angle looks right
Rip : a common technique, rarely publicised
Rip Torn : a 1960’s Hollywood star reknowned for his lack of folding ability
Robert : a design you can complete, but produce a dog’s dinner every time. As “That’s a real Robert!”. Origins unknown
Rose : any design plagiarised without credit the world over
Sculpture : name given to abstract origami to lend artistic credence
Shaping : final arbitrary folds to try and make the model resemble the subject
Simple model : any design that you can actually fold
Sink : by far the best place to try wet-folding
Somnambulatori : designing models during your sleep
Sonobe Module: model with most variations and plagiarisms. Co-incidentally, an anagram of “unbosomed ole”
Split fold : a move often performed on the back of thick animals
Square : ideal paper shape, seldom achieved in real life
Squash : a drink made from folded fruit
Statutori : folds you really must make
Stretched bird base : a flapping bird that has been roughly handled
Strip folding : dubious practice with paper cuts a real danger
Stub: a new edge added to the tree graph attached to a new node introduced into the middle of an existing edge and associated creases added to the crease pattern, according to Robert Lang’s site!
Super complex : any model where the diagrams reach 4 digits numbers
Super-duper complex : any model that takes longer than 3 months to fold
Swan candy dish : a bowl of sweets for swans
Tak-a-hama : instruction to flatten a 16 layer leg
Tandoori : origami cooked in a clay oven
Tarumptytumtum : a bilious condition brought on by too much tension folding
Tato : versatile and tasty traditional design
Tension folding: when you really get a headache during a model
Tesselation : Miss d’Urberville loves folding
Thuggori : forcing designs on unwilling students
Tipper (Magic) : an action model guaranteed to work once every ten demonstrations
Tissue : an allergic response to certain of paper
Tissue foil : squares made from lemsip wrappers
Topiori : a design created by Treemaker
Tori : a more conservative folder who uses blue paper to make flappers with two right wings
Traditional : any model that was invented before copyright laws
Transitori : an origami van
Treemaker : an origami acorn
Triangle : square with a side missing
Tributori : praising a model in public
Troublewit : colloquial abbreviation when critiquing a design – “the trouble with it is”
Tuck in : folding whilst eating (see Poppadom)
Turn over : folding pastry
Twist folding : terpsichorean origami technique “Let’s twist again, like we did last convention”
series to be completed soon! Additions welcomed!