from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Heavy paper impregnated or coated with tar, used as a waterproof protective material in building.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A heavy paper, coated with tar, used to waterproof walls and roofs.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From tar +‎ paper.


  • When my dad got a job at Rapid City Air Force Base now Ellsworth Air Force Base, we moved from our reservation to a tarpaper shack on Lemon Avenue with no indoor plumbing and a two-seater outhouse.

    Tim Giago: The Tough Transition From Indian Reservation To City

  • In Chiapas, we do not need what you refer to as "nob type insulation" as what we use there for insulation is three foot thick adobe walls that take up more space than your entire living room in that tarpaper shack of yours in Crapola but we must admit that we need propane heaters as we lack your incessant hot air bloviating forth to heat our maison you Alberta clodhopper.

    About Ajijic, food, music, people, and the "social life"

  • Our first stop was the Perquampi homesite, a disarray of old farmhouse and shack and other crude shelter, inside of which we knew would be the tarpaper laboratory where the crank would deploy his calibration tools and likely be found with damning evidence.


  • He made an ill-advised grab for a dropped hammer sliding off the tarpaper and the next thing he was aware of was the sound of the ambulance siren as he was being transported to the county hospital twenty miles away.


  • The $6,000 house, "essentially a tarpaper shack," steadily became a wreck, especially when Hurricane Carla thundered through in 1961.

    Childhood in a minor key

  • It taxed the wipers, ragged and lame, that limped, complaining every step of the way, back and forth across Ricki's windshield; first plangent, then lambent, then plangent again, it addressed the tarpaper roof of V'lu's motel, adding an extra dimension to her dreams; it stacked its liquid telegrams against the windowpanes of the Last Laugh Foundation.

    La insistencia de Jürgen Fauth

  • I'll cover that with tarpaper and then a layer of 30-year shingles, which should, since I'm 60, guarantee that it's the last roof I have to do in this life.

    Dave Lindorff: Thoughts on Saving an Old Barn

  • That summer it seemed every family was a fork of the Snopes line, that every mother was failed by her children's poor burying skills, that every father's son turned traitor to half-sibling secrets, that every sister crept from her window in the shadowy night to meet minstrel boys by the tarpaper shacks where blind sharecroppers played the blues on guitars strung with wires purloined from cotton bales.

    Summer Reading

  • Families slept in tarpaper shacks and tin-lined caves and scavenged like dogs for food in the city dump.

    Hale "Bonddad" Stewart: The Great Depression, Part I

  • Just because I grew up in a house which started as a tarpaper shack in 1918 -- and with some addons became an adequate four-room domicile for six of us -- is no reason why I shouldn't have gone to college.

    Chris Hedges on the State of Higher Education


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