A shingle is a rectangular wooden tile that's made of wood, slate, flagstone, fiber cement, metal, plastic, or composite materials such as asphalt. When applied to a building, it adds an interesting scale-like texture to roofs and walls.
Many shingled buildings were born from the early-Victorian Stick style and Queen Anne style, and were popular in New England from the late-1870s to the 1890s. Though rectangular wood shingles are the most common, they're also available in other varieties including fish scale, cover, V-cut, octagonal, and arrow patterns. These days, they can even be found made of shiny metal alloys or recycled rubber.