AskDefine | Define onionskin

Dictionary Definition

onionskin n : a thin strong light-weight translucent paper used especially for making carbon copies [syn: flimsy]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A thin, strong, light, translucent paper; used especially for making carbon copies

Extensive Definition

Onionskin or onion skin is a thin, light-weight, strong, often translucent paper. It was usually used with carbon paper for typing duplicates in a typewriter, for permanent records where low bulk was important, or for airmail correspondence. It typically has a 9 pound basis weight, and may be white or canary colored.
In the typewriter era, onion skin often had a deeply-textured "cockle" finish which allowed for easier erasure of typing mistakes, but other glazed and unglazed finishes were also available then and may be more common today.
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