Out of sorts. Not in good health and spirits. The French
être dérangé explains the metaphor. If cards are out of sorts they
are deranged, and if a person is out of sorts the health or spirits are
out of order.
In printers' language it means out of some particular letter, in
which case they substitute for a time another letter.
To run upon sorts.
In printing, said of work which requires an unusual number of
certain letters, etc.; as an index, which requires a disproportionate
number of capitals.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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