etaoin shrdlu

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the arrangement of letters on the keyboard of a Linotype machine—typesetters would mark errors by running their fingers across the keys, and the results would sometimes accidentally find their way into print.

Noun[edit]

etaoin shrdlu (plural etaoin shrdlus)

  1. Nonsense, filler text, or an example of accidental typing.
    • 1989, Alex Brown, In print: text and type[1], page 137:
      You can see why compositors reflexively filled lines to be corrected with etaoin shrdlus.

See also[edit]