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Office Supplies, Part III

This is the third and final lesson about non-digital office supplies that we use in the workplace and at school. You probably know some of the words already, but today let's take a look at some items that may be new to your vocabulary.


On your desktop you will see a folder marked "Irish Promotion."

Caption 32, The Company: Starting on a New Job

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This book is big. This is a red folder.

Caption 31, Parts of Speech: Introduction

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A folder is a folded piece of plastic or thin cardboard that you can store papers in. Like many office supplies, the folder has a digital counterpart, such as the virtual folders on your computer desktop.


I take notes in a notebook or on a notepad.

Caption 9, The Alphabet: The Letter N

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Do you know where you can see da Vinci's notebook?

Caption 20, Visit London: Top 10 London Attractions

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A notebook or notepad is a bit like a book with blank pages. Sometimes they are bound like a book, and sometimes they are bound with piece of spiral wire. Some laptop computers are called notebooks or notepads. So while Leonardo da Vinci would probably have been very impressed with a laptop, they hadn't yet been invented in the 15th century!


And in this cubby I have my interior design tools like my scale ruler and my measuring tape.

Captions 39-40, Creative Space: An Artist's Studio

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A cubby, also called a "cubbyhole," is a small shelf that may be part of a desk or part of a free-standing shelf. Cubbyholes are convenient for keeping items that you use a lot within easy reach.


A scale ruler is a kind of ruler that designers and architects often use. Unlike a flat ruler, the scale ruler is shaped on the end like a 3-pointed star and has 6 sides.


A measuring tape, also called a "tape measure," is for measuring things that are longer than a standard ruler. Measuring tapes roll up into a small case that you can carry in your pocket.


Let's get down to brass tacks.

Caption 20, Groucho Marx: You Bet Your Life

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A tack, or "thumbtack," is usually a round piece of metal with a pin attached that allows you to attach papers onto a bulletin board or a wall.


A bulletin board is a somewhat large board usually made out of cork for tacking papers onto. A tack with a plastic handle that makes it easier to pull out is called a push-pin.


Note that in the video caption above, the phrase "to get down to brass tacks" is an expression that means "to get down to the basic facts." It probably came from Cockney rhyming slang.


Further Learning
Review Part I and Part II of this office supplies series to see if you remember the different English names for the various items commonly found in an office. Then go to to Yabla English and watch the videos above to get a better overview of the words you just learned. If you're feeling really brave, read the Wikipedia article above and see if you can invent your own Cockney rhyming slang for something!