Similarly, if you drop your phone in the hotel loo and tell the reception staff "It's rooted," they might start looking for vegetation sprouting from the seams. (The Age)

Vegetation sprouts from the seams? How on earth it comes out of “a folded back and stitched piece of fabric.” Is it an idiom denoting a kind of pun: ‘vegetation can sprout from the seeds, but how goodness from the seams’? So this expression might be saying they are in a state of confusing? What does it mean?

  • Wow, that wikidictionary entry is really terrible. A seam, in sewing terminology, is where one piece of fabric is affixed to another piece of fabric by means of stitching; they can be the same piece of fabric if one folds it over, but "folding back" is never required for something to be a seam. Furthermore, I'm of the impression that stitching in a single piece of fabric which doesn't join two pieces (stitches which are ornamental, e.g.) -- as would fit their definition -- is not considered a seam, but I would have to check that with an actual embroiderer. May 22, 2014 at 1:52
  • 1
    @Codeswitcher According to my mother (former seamstress) decorative stitching is NOT a seam. It is just stitching. P.S. Embroidery calls them stitches too and seams rarely play a part in embroidery (except for nicely cleaning up the edges of the piece of embroidery or when affixing it onto another piece of cloth.)
    – Tonny
    May 22, 2014 at 9:23
  • "A folded back and stitched piece [singular] of fabric" would be a fair definition of a hem or a selvage (self-edge). A seam is always a join. Sep 29, 2015 at 21:06

2 Answers 2


The first thing came to my mind was those small trees that grow from those cracks in the walls or pavement. Why? Because I got some of them myself!

enter image description here
NOTE: If I don't pull them off, they will grow really fast. So, yes, they rooted indeed!

I believe that seams can be used so in your sentence because besides those stitches, it can mean:

A line where the edges of two pieces of wood, wallpaper, or another material touch each other
Source: Oxford dictionary


No, it's not a pun, but a perfectly correct idiomatic use of the word "seam" to mean any kind of straight line where two materials are joined. This appears as the last meaning in the Wikitionary entry:

A line of junction; a joint.

For example, a welding seam:

enter image description here

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