Paper Towns

Paper Towns Glossary

Paper Town

A "copyright trap" that some cartographers use to avoid having their work replicated.


A website designed by Quentin's friend, Radar, that allows anyone to add or edit articles on any subject, similar to Wikipedia.

Song of Myself

A poem by Walt Whitman that becomes relevant to the plot when Margot puts it in a clue to her whereabouts.

Agloe, NY

A nonexistent town, or "Paper Town," featured in the novel.


Quentin and his friends' favorite video game, though Quentin admits that he isn't good at it.


A term Ben Starling coins to refer to women. Quentin and Radar deem it sexist, though Ben seems to find it "Retro-cool."

Bloody Ben

The unfortunate nickname of Ben Starling, who acquired it after having a kidney infection that caused blood to mix with his urine.


Ben's fifteen year-old Buick that has been consecutively driven by all three of his older siblings. RHAPAW is an acronym for "Rode Hard And Put Away Wet".


What Quentin's mother calls a subdivision that was plotted but abandoned before completion.


A brand of energy drink Quentin and his friends consume during their road trip.


A cul-de-sac is a street with only one inlet/outlet. It is popular in suburban areas in which a number of houses are built around the cul-de-sac's end, with the outlet connecting to a larger road.


Backne is a slang term for acne on one's back.


A phallus is a penis, especially when erect. The term is often used in regards to "phallic imagery" in art, architecture, and the like.


Noctem is Latin for "night." Quentin corrects Margo when she uses the phrase "carpe diem" - reminding her that that phrase means "seize the day."

Pavlov's dogs

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a Russian physiologist known primarily for his work in classical conditioning. In his most famous experiment, he conditioned dogs to salivate at the sound of the bell by consistently pairing that neutral stimuli with the presentation of food. These conditioned dogs are "Pavlov's dogs."

Ben Sterling Speedboat

To "speedboat" -- or, more commonly, "motorboat" -- is a term that describes a person putting their face between the breasts of a woman and moving their head back and forth quickly.


The Mourner's Kaddish is a prayer said for the dead by people of the Jewish faith.


A tchotchke is a small object that is decorative rather than strictly functional; otherwise known as a "trinket."


"Beast" is a colloquial name for beer from the brand Milwaukee's Best, which Ben drinks and glues to his hands at a party.


Asshat is an insult Green uses in many of his books. It is a light insult, more playful than "asshole" while retaining the term's vulgarity.