etaoin shrdlu

etaoin shrdlu

[et-ee-oin shurd-loo, -oh-in, ee-tee-]
noun
the letters produced by running the finger down the first two vertical rows of keys at the left of the keyboard of a Linotype machine: used as a temporary marking slug or to indicate that an earlier mistake in the line necessitates resetting, but sometimes inadvertently cast and printed.

Origin:
1955–60

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To etaoin shrdlu
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

etaoin shrdlu
1931, journalism slang, the sequence of characters you get if you sweep your finger down the two left-hand columns of Linotype keys, which is what typesetters did when they messed up a line and had to start it over. A signal to cut out the sentence, it nonetheless sometimes slipped past harried compositors
and ended up in print.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Related Searches
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature