I dont know how to thank you enough for this poll COOL COOL COOL
I mostly call it a box, but as there is no definitive answer, I also call it a widget or area, depending upon the context.
I would have to say function panel (s) because the other choices mostly deal with other parts of the WP admin. I saw Module there and instantly thought of Joomla (since I work with the Joomla cms) and was thinking, ok, why is Module here? Anyway, I've come to accept that terminology is not a straight line and that everyone has their own titles and names they give to various elements of a website and/or cms. The trick is to understand what each person is talking about when they call something - something else, but overall, I usually have a good idea what they are talking about.
If I'm talking to a client or non-web savvy person, I always refer to it as a box. I personally identify them as modules, and in my work environment we refer to it as a module or a box and everyone understands either way.
Explain metabox. What's meta about it? ex. Metadata is kind of background data for the page.
I said call-out, that was our internal word, but, I think everyone would know what you were talking about if you said "press the submit button in the publish box"....
or maybe redundency is your problem. Publish box and publish button. If the page is already visible to the world, then publish is not the best word. Commit changes?
I call it as Postbox if i talk to my clients because it gives a meaningful word in the New post page rather than Box or Metabox or anything else. As a developer call myself as Metabox.
"Boxes" to clients, "meta boxes" to other devs.
Module because its the most international word (at least in French, you can say module)
In my own spell (and german thinking) I call them eXpander. They expand the WP-modules end they expand when i open them... ;-) When i talk to other then they are widgets and/or modules.
I was going to say panel, but box is just as fine.
I commonly referred to them as panels. I guess out of habit as when you add more of these boxes to the Edit Post screen they are commonly referred to as adding custom write panels to that screen.
Boxes or meta boxes works too. I think widgets would only add confusion as the Widget area refers to widgets that appear on the front end in sidebars.
When speaking to a client or inexperienced Wordpress user on the phone I'd use "section" - e.g. "on the right hand side there is a section called "Categories". This is where you select the category(ies) your post belongs in.
Rarely would I use anything as "technical" sounding as widget, metabox, or module with a client - terms like that seem to lead to confusion or off-topic questions.
box to clients.
meta box to developers. i think they are meta boxes in the code?
so overall metabox gets my vote.
I call them meta-boxes, but "widget" would be better if that term didn't have a specific WP meaning already.
"Module" is probably better than "box" because it connotes the idea of distinct functionality.
SInce the function to add one is add_metabox, that's how I voted. I am in favor of the front end documentation and code being in sync.
I call them expandable panels
I second Alex' comment.
I'm surprised "panel" didn't make it up there. That was my 'other' response.
If it's a client, I call it a box because they know what a box is. If I'm talking with other developers, I might call it a "Meta box" or "module".