This glossary has been compiled from various different sources. Some of the terms have been reproduced with kind permission from the Stanley Gibbons Philatelic Terms Illustrated by James Mackay. If you think a term is missing please e-mail us.
A postal marking used for parcel post.
Adhesives used for the prepayment of parcel postage.
Name of Royal Mail parcel service.
Preprinted stationery that could only be bought and posted by Members of Parliament from 16 January 1840 following the abolition of franking of letters by Members from 10 January. This ceased once adhesives were issued on 6 May 1840.
A stamp where the perforation is incomplete.
Pictorial covers with a patriotic theme used in wartime to raise morale.
Pay and Go
Customer operated machine trialled in three locations in 2007 for letters only.
A handstamp applied to covers indicating postage has been paid to destination.
Peace & Commerce
French and Colonial key type introduced in 1876.
Peace & Navigation
French Colonial key type adopted in 1892.
Design feature consisting of solid or outlined circles.
(French) Very thin, hard and rough paper.
Postal defacement applied by pen and ink to a postage stamp.
Penalty Stamps & Stationary
Stationery intended for use on official correspondence in the USA with a warning printed on the envelope that improper use may incur a penalty.
World's first adhesive postage stamp introduced in Great Britain in 1840.
A postal service delivering letters within a limited area for a penny.
1d stamps of Great Britain successors to the Penny Black.
Percé en Arc
(French) Arc pierced.