Saturday, March 2Not Your Ordinary English-Tagalog Dictionary

What is Notebook in Tagalog? Origin, Types, and Evolution

The notebook in Tagalog is called “kwaderno” or “kuwaderno,” which came from the Spanish word, cuaderno. However, most Filipinos today call the notebook as it is. As we all know, a notebook is a stack of papers usually with lines, and a front and back cover. This writing pad is mostly used by students but is also used in other places in writing, drawing, and as a journal. 

Notebook in Tagalog
Different Notebooks in the Philippines

Historically, the first notebook was not made of paper and came even before paper was invented. Called the wax tablet, this ancient reusable writing tool was made of wood with a layer of wax. It was predominant during the Middle Ages when writing was performed using a pointed instrument called the stylus. When paper became readily available, erasable notebooks (called table books) were developed. 

When fountain pens were invented in the early 19th century, table books gradually declined since paper manufacturing became cheaper. During the Enlightenment era in Europe, schoolchildren were taught how to gather and sew sheets of paper, which eventually became their notebooks. Nevertheless, the rise of composition notebooks started in France and Germany in the late 1800s.

Meanwhile, legend says that Massachusetts paper mill worker Thomas W. Holley invented the legal pad in 1888. At that time, he purportedly collected substandard paper scraps from various factories and stitched them, and sold them as paper pads. In 1900, a local judge was said to have requested him to put a margin on the left side. But unlike notebooks, legal pads have no covers.

On the other hand, English inventor Edward Podosek was said to have popularized the spiral notebook in 1924. Although there is no official record stating who invented spiral notebooks, he was the first person known for using them to record information. In the 1970s, several paper-making companies such as Mead began producing composition notebooks.

Golden Gate and Corona were among the known notebook brands in the Philippines. Back in the 90s, young celebrities were on the notebook covers to attract students. But today, a notebook is also referred to as a small personal computer. Unlike laptops, notebook computers are smaller and have slower processors, and no slots for peripherals. Yet, paper notebooks are not totally out of the picture.

Use kwaderno in a sentence.


Malapit na ang pasukan. Kailangang makabili na ako ng mga kwaderno para sa aking mga anak na nasa elementarya.


The school year is getting near. I need to buy notebooks for my children who are in elementary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *