French 'Posting Pillars'
September 13, 2010 4:04 PM   Subscribe

In pictures of Paris you often see tall, round posting pillars (my term) on the sidewalks on which are posted advertisements and announcements -- what are these posting pillars actually called -- the best English translation is preferred. Thanks.
posted by badensa to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, definitely kiosks. You see them a bit on US college campuses, too.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:07 PM on September 13, 2010

I agree with kiosk. Be aware that kiosk can also refer to this (in both French and English).
posted by desjardins at 4:11 PM on September 13, 2010

Best answer: Advertising column in English, in French Colonne Morris and in German Litfaßsäule.
posted by jedicus at 4:12 PM on September 13, 2010

Or if you want a direct translation from the French, then "Morris column." From the German it would be Litfaß column.
posted by jedicus at 4:13 PM on September 13, 2010

I have heard these referred to as Morris columns - I am in Canada.
posted by oulipian at 4:17 PM on September 13, 2010

posted by wilful at 4:32 PM on September 13, 2010

not bollards - those are designed to keep cars out, not for posting bills. I would call them kiosks myself, and I would understand you if you called them advertising columns.
posted by Chris4d at 4:45 PM on September 13, 2010

I have also called them kiosks, but I think these days kiosks generally refer to a small stand in the street or in a mall, or to a self-contained stand-alone computer station for advertising/surveys/promotional materials. I'd never heard advertising column before, but I'd agree it is more fitting.
posted by Roger Dodger at 4:59 PM on September 13, 2010

Bollards in Australian English. (Also not used to tie up ships at the dockside.)
posted by wilful at 5:21 PM on September 13, 2010

Excellent question, thanks for asking. My instinct was to call them kiosks, until in Berlin I noticed how the little newstands that sell candy on the platforms in the Ü-Bahn stations were often labeled "Kiosk" (and in the Tokyo subway, they're labeled "Let's Kiosk").
posted by Rash at 9:09 PM on September 13, 2010

There are identical JCDecaux pillars in San Francisco, and some of them actually are kiosks (though they're more likely to be called newsstands).
posted by clorox at 10:20 PM on September 13, 2010

More on advertising columns. They're known as Litfaßsäule ( Litfaß columns) in Germany because the concept was invented by Ernst Litfaß in 1854, allegedly because he was 'disgusted by the unsystematic and ubiquitous posting of pamphlets, notices and other materials on walls, doors, fences and trees.'
posted by Happy Dave at 1:36 AM on September 14, 2010

A kiosk is where you'd buy newspapers, cigarettes, etc. These are advertising columns. Also called Morris Columns, as stated above.
posted by idiomatika at 5:39 AM on September 14, 2010

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