Gracious English heroes, help me!

For the left and right side, there are phrases likes, "left-hand side" or "right-hand side" which are very common. And for front and back, there are phrases "frontside" and "backside".

However, to indicate above and below side, I can't find what to use because there are so many words indicate that.

topside, upper side, upside, overside or,
bottom side, downside, lower side, underside

I'm not having any idea about what to choose and just panicked. What is the most commonly used words to indicate above and below?

For example:

"What is that on the upper side of you?"

  • Can you give an example sentence?
    – James K
    Aug 8, 2021 at 11:47
  • @JamesK Like, "What is that on the upper side of you?"
    – Mint Bee
    Aug 8, 2021 at 11:51

1 Answer 1


"Upper side" would be possible, with "topside" used in some contexts (for example on the upper decks of ships)

But in the actual example you give, people don't have a "side" over their head. So you would say

What is that above you?


What is that on your head?

  • 1
    Be careful with 'backside' which may not mean what you think it does in British English areas. Aug 8, 2021 at 13:20
  • @MichaelHarvey Than, what should I use for that meaning alternatively?
    – Mint Bee
    Aug 8, 2021 at 13:37
  • @MichaelHarvey Ummm... thanks I'll be careful when use it
    – Mint Bee
    Aug 8, 2021 at 14:49
  • I would just add that in general, in English, people don't actually use "side" for relative directions that often unless they mean something directly attached to something else on a particular side. The main exception is "left (hand) side" and "right (hand) side" which are often used to refer to something on (attached to) the side of a road (or conceptually the side of "the path someone is travelling", etc). It is much less common to use terms like "frontside" or "backside", however (this would usually just be "in front" or "behind", etc)
    – Foogod
    Aug 10, 2021 at 19:52

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