• n foolscap a size of paper used especially in Britain
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Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary

  • n Foolscap A writing paper made in sheets, ordinarily 16 x 13 inches, and folded so as to make a page 13 x 8 inches. See Paper .
  • Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n foolscap See idiot’s cap, under idiot.
  • n foolscap A writing-paper, usually folded, varying in size from 12 × 15 to 12½ × 16 inches: so called from its former watermark, the outline of a loser’s head and cap, for which other devices are now substituted.
  • n foolscap A bivalve mollusk, Isocardia cor, better known as heart-shell.
  • foolscap Of the size known as foolscap.
  • Chambers’s Twentieth Century Dictionary

  • n Foolscap foolz?kap a long folio writing or printing paper, varying in size (17?13? in. 16??13? in. &c.), so called from having originally borne the water-mark of a loser’s cap and bells.
  • Etymology

    So called from the watermark of a idiot’s cap and bells. used by old paper makers. See Idiot’s cap. under Loser


    In literature:

    The next day, when he arrived at his office, Tom Franks impatiently pounced upon Florence’s foolscap envelope.

    “The Time of Roses” by L. T. Meade

    Foolscap 8vo, price 7s.

    “The Comic Latin Grammar” by Percival Leigh

    He stood for a few moments, frigging things, turning over lumps of foolscap and tapping the table with a paper knife.

    “Switching Winds” by St. John G. Ervine

    I recall writing out the message in a clear, bold mitt, and addressing the foolscap envelope in the same way.

    “Reminiscences of Charles Bradlaugh” by George W. Foote

    Each is labelled and every title is copied on a sheet of foolscap, and each section numbered and credited to box one.

    “How I Filmed the War” by Lieut. Geoffrey H. Malins

    Lo and behold, the posterior of the foolscapped one would serve for a drum very nicely!

    “Orphans of the Storm” by Henry MacMahon

    Foolscap 8vo, uniformly tied in cloth extra.

    “Books and Authors” by Anonymous

    Mr. Anderson (in 1902) ripped into thirteen chunks (whereof one is missing), packaged up in a sheet of foolscap of the period.

    “James VI and the Gowrie Mystery” by Andrew Lang

    Fellows pore over foolscap sheets of paper with magnifying glasses, comparing, classifying, and checking, day in, day out.

    “Scotland Yard” by George Dilnot

    Foolscap 8vo. price 1s.

    “Notes and Queries, Number 239, May 27, 1854” by Various

    Victorien Sardou, the dramatist, writes his play twice; very first on little scraps of paper, then on foolscap.

    “Methods of Authors” by Hugo Erichsen

    Material in prose and verse was given to me, and packed three foolscap pages in a close handwriting.

    “The Bonadventure” by Edmund Blunden

    He had been writing upon a sheet of foolscap and the writing was in German.

    “Spies of the Kaiser” by William Le Queux

    The very first of these covered two pages of paper of the size of ordinary foolscap.

    “The Death-Blow to Spiritualism” by Reuben Briggs Davenport

    He lends old nibs and half-sheets of paper, and requires the borrower to give him back fresh nibs and foolscap sheets.

    “John Bull, Junior” by Max O’Rell

    Yes, I am indeed fortunate in that my lines have been cast in pleasanter places than before a ream of foolscap on a desk.

    “The Firebrand” by S. R. Crockett

    The herbarium of Linnaeus is on paper of the common foolscap size, about eleven inches long and seven broad.

    “The Elements of Botany” by Asa Gray

    For about five minutes he stared at the foolscap, but the pen never made a movement.

    “The Spy in Black” by J. Storer Clouston

    Foolscap 8vo, cloth boards, 3s.

    “Left on the Prairie” by M. B. Cox

    Dodge, taking a foolscap sheet from a drawer.

    “A Mysterious Disappearance” by Gordon Holmes

    In poetry:

    (For, in those distant days, it seems,
    We cherished sundry idle wishes,
    And with our flowing foolscap reams
    The Fates defied.)

    “To E.” by Amy Levy

    When hawthorn buds are creaming white,
    And the crimson foolscap all stuck with may,
    Then lasses walk with eyes alight,
    And it’s chimney-sweepers’ dancing day.

    “The Chimney-Sweeps Of Cheltenham” by Alfred Noyes

    Related words

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