phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Out of sorts

Posted by Ed Stansell on September 23, 2002

Your meaning is correct and your origin is partly correct. In my type catalogs from which I regularly purchase type from the foundry, they list "sorts as the following items: !,.?"':;$+=_-()*&^%$#@. One can't quite do type composition without these characters. So being "out of sorts meant things were not quite right.

You may have a book that says what sorts are, but I choose to believe the people who make them.
ES