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While apparently it can be used in that manner, I fear that it is much more common to describe things like railings along stairs. The fact that the subject is a posession fence has already been established.

In general, I need a word for a fence with vertical bars, something that literaly and figuratively would invoke the feeling of 'looking through bars'. If the first thought about 'railing' is that of a waist-high obstacle, the effect would be completely opposite to what I had in mind and thus the distinction is very important to me. Also, 'railing' already happens to rhyme with what I wrote.

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  • Railings can be any height. The ones at Buckingham Palace in London are quite high. I'm not sure what you mean by a "possession fence". Is it a term local to where you live?. Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 17:52
  • You should know that when used with the "bar" sense, rails almost always refers to horizontal bars. But the word bars is effectively "neutral" in respect of horizontal / vertical orientation - and the specific collocation behind bars (in prison) will almost always be visualised as implying vertical bars. Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 17:53
  • I don't think fences have railings. They can have rails, but not railings. Perhaps you could use a name for a specific type of fence (e.g., split rail fence, picket fence).
    – Justin
    Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 17:59
  • Can you provide a picture? Or can you tell us how high the fence (or railing) is, how far apart the bars are, how thick the bars are, and what direction(s) the bars point?
    – Jasper
    Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 18:32
  • A railing is a name for a particular type of fence made of vertical metal posts. The word can also mean one of these posts. Such a fence can, in fact be called 'railings'. Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 18:33

2 Answers 2

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These are railings

enter image description here

So are these

enter image description here

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  • Yeah, that's what I pictured in my mind. If that's the primary name for this type of fence then I guess I'll run with it, if only because I already spent too much time on that poem.
    – Turin
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 1:34
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In general, I need a word for a fence with vertical bars, something that literaly and figuratively would invoke the feeling of 'looking through bars'.

If the fence completely surrounds a small property, or small object (think 10-20 ft on each side), it's basically a cage.

It's not common to have long fence runs that are composed of immobile metal bars spaced closely enough where you can look through them but not fit through them. A synthesized term like "prison-bar fence" or "jail-bar fence" would be needed.

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  • Seems like it may be a cultural thing, but many are visible in films of New York, so I'm kind of surprised by this statement.
    – Turin
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 16:48

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