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Out of sorts

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Monday, 30 September 2019

Everyday Phrases That Come from Printing: Out of sorts.

This phrase has come to mean feeling a bit off, unwell, or grumpy - which is entirely appropriate because it comes from printers running out of a letter type.

The individual letters were stored in separate boxes and were called "sorts" in printer’s language.

For most of the history of print, purchasing type was expensive, and to save on costs, many printers would only keep enough on hand to get the job done. But sometimes this meant running out of type in the middle of a job, making you "out of sorts".

If you want to find out more about printing and especially how the printing process happens at Warwick Print, how about enlisting on our fact finding workshop: