Out of The Jaws of Death




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Out of The Jaws of Death : Phrases



Meaning:

Mildly unwell; not in one's usual health or state of mind.


Example:







Origin:

Since at least the 17th century 'sorts' has been the name of the letters used by typographers. This usage is referred to in Notes on a Century of Typography at the University Press Oxford 1693–1794 and is nicely defined in Joseph Moxon's Mechanick exercises, or the doctrine of handy-works - printing, 1683:

"The Letters... in every Box of the Case are... called Sorts in Printers and Founders Language; Thus a is a Sort, b is a Sort."

To be 'out of sorts' would clearly be unwelcome to a typesetter. That terminology could be the source of the phrase in its current meaning. The above citations are pre-dated by one from Samuel Ward, which makes no mention of the print trade. That in his The life of faith in death,1621:

"I wonder... to see one... that knowes all must worke for the best, to be at any time out of tune, or out of sorts."







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