A pen is a writing instrument which applies ink to some surface.
- Originally the word meant quill, and is derived from pinna (Latin for feather. This is because early pens were made from goose feathers by carving the feather with a penknife.
Pens may also be known, although not very commonly, as frindles. This word was invented by the author Andrew Clements in his novel Frindle, the premise of which is that a schoolboy decides to call pens "frindles" and the usage becomes common throughout America.
Things that could be mentioned here
- invention of the cartridge pen
- invention of the biro
- the space pen
- the (possibly urban-mythical) tale of the Russians using a pencil in space instead
- contrast with brush
A pen is also the term used for the much-reduced and entirely internal shell of some cephalopod mollusks, especially squid.
Pen is also used as a verbal expression of "to create" or "to write".
For example: "Today, I think I'll pen the Great Canadian Novel."
Pen is also used to describe an enclosed location.
For example: Pigpen
Short for penitentiary.
See also Pencil.