Jigsaw Puzzle Terminology

A jigsaw puzzle doesn’t require the need to learn a bunch of intricate rules and terms to understand the process. All you need to do is jump in and start connecting pieces. 

There are times, however, when it’s nice to know what puzzle shapes are called, or common terms used when putting a puzzle together. 

Don’t worry — we got you covered. We put together this puzzle glossary to define puzzle terms and puzzling phrases so you show up to your next puzzle event speaking like a pro. 

Jigsaw Puzzle Glossary

Here, we define puzzling phrases and terms — both widely known and not-so-known. 

  • Anchoring - a piece that connects a large middle section to the edge. 
  • Blanks - the widely recognized term for the indentations of jigsaw puzzle pieces, or the hole. Also called: innie and socket.
  • Border - the frame of the puzzle. A puzzle has many sides with a straight line to make up the border. See also: edges. 
  • Compostable Reusable Bag - the bag Blue Kazoo puzzle pieces come in is reusable and compostable. No more inner plastic bags to add to landfills. 
  • Die Cut - the process used to mass-create jigsaw puzzles. Since the 1930s, this method has been used to cut jigsaw puzzles (like a cookie cutter) on cardboard. Before this, jigsaws were hand-cut on pieces of wood. 
  • Dissected Maps - the original name for jigsaw puzzles. John Spilsbury created puzzles in 1760 by placing a map on a piece of wood and carving them into pieces to help teach children geography. 
  • Edges - the border pieces of the puzzle. Also called: flat sides, outside pieces, outer pieces, and side pieces. 
  • FSC Blackboard - the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was founded in 1993 to protect the world’s forests. Our puzzle blackboard is made with recycled FSC-certified materials, which means it’s sustainably sourced.  
  • Fully Interlocking - puzzle pieces are connected for a seamless fit, so they stay attached when moved. Blue Kazoo puzzles are fully interlocking.   
  • Interjambs - the most proper term for the rounded tabs on a puzzle piece. Also called: knob, narp, nerp, nubbin, and outies.
  • Plant-Based Ink - ​​instead of petroleum, prints use ink made with vegetable oil, such as soybean or corn oil. Blue Kazoo’s sustainable puzzles are made with plant-based ink. 
  • Premium Poster - a reference image to help puzzlers complete the puzzle. All Blue Kazoo puzzles come with a premium poster included in the box. 
  • Tiling Puzzle - irregularly shaped puzzle pieces are connected to form a bigger picture. 
  • Whimsy Piece - a puzzle piece cut into an object's shape, such as a flower or animal. 
  • Zoob - anyone that loves puzzling and Blue Kazoo puzzles. Our favorite type of person. Also called: Zoobs and Zoobies. 

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