So you think you know English Idioms

The Printing Industry

In the original printers typesetting shop there were two wooden sectioned cases one above the other holding the metal letters to be used in typesetting. Capital letters were in the UPPER CASE and non capitals were kept in the LOWER CASE.

To set the type these letters were assembled in a wooden page replica called a chase. A small wooden device was used to set up each individual line which was then pushed up into the chase. The wooden device was called a ‘quoin’. You QUOINED A PHRASE.

After you had a full page of type you created a mask around the edges of the chase. You CUT TO THE CHASE.

After the page was completed it had to be inked by another worker using a leather pad called ‘a dab’. He was the DAB HAND.

The inked page was put into the press and pressed to see if there was A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION.

In the printing process another worker was THE GALLEY SLAVE and of course when typesetting you had to MIND YOUR P’s AND Q’s

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