28 August 2021

"Uppercase" and "lowercase" etymology illustrated

The photo shows the storage case for lead letters used in letterpress printing (capital letters in the upper case).  Also interesting is this observation in the comment thread: "Each letter was called a sort, so if the letter setter ran out of a letter while setting a page, they were “out of a sort” - aka where we get the phrase “out of sorts.”"

Another photo and discussion here, including the information that before the letterpress terms developed, the terms for "uppercase" and "lowercase" were "majuscule" and "miniscule."

1 comment:

  1. I'd always assumed it was "case" as in "instance", as in upper (i.e., taller) instance, and lower (shorter) instance.


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