- of or relating to a keyboard having the keys in traditional typewriter arrangement, with the letters q, w, e, r, t, and y being the first six of the top row of alphabetic characters, starting from the left side.
Origin of QWERTY
- the standard English language typewriter keyboard layout with the characters q, w, e, r, t, and y positioned on the top row of alphabetic characters at the left side of the keyboard
1929, from the first six keys on a standard typewriter keyboard, read as though text, from top left. Mechanical typewriter patented 1867; the QWERTY layout itself is said to date to 1887, dominant in U.S. from early 20c.; it is not meant to slow down typists, but to separate the letters in common digraphs (-sh-, -ck-, etc.) to reduce jamming of swing-arms in old-style machines. It actually speeds typing by requiring alternate-hand strokes, which is one reason the alternative DVORAK keyboard is not appreciably faster. Remnants of the original alphabetic typewriter keyboard remain in the second row of letter keys: FGH-JKL. The French standard was AZERTY; in Germany, QWERTZ; in Italy, QZERTY.