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etaoin shrdlu

[ et-ee-oin -shurd-loo, -oh-in, ee-tee- ]
/ ˈɛt iˌɔɪn ˈʃɜrd lu, -ˌoʊ ɪn, ˈi ti- /
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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.

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Origin of etaoin shrdlu

First recorded in 1955–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
  • That's a double two-em-dashed lie, you etaoin shrdlu so-and-so!

    Four-Day Planet|Henry Beam Piper
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