Upper and lower case

upper and lower caseHave you ever wondered where “upper case” and “lower case” come from? I hadn’t until I came across an explanation as I was trying to work out whether it should be Beaux-Arts or beaux-arts. The “case” (from Latin cassa, “box”) refers to the type cases used by printers to keep their movable type. Capital letters (from Latin caput “head”, as these were used at the beginning of a sentence or a word) were put at the top of the case, while minuscules were at the bottom of the case, hence upper case and lower case letters.
Typewriter photo by Marcin Wichary.

By | 2010-02-18T08:22:41+00:00 February 18th, 2010|Words|Comments Off on Upper and lower case

About the Author:

I am Céline Graciet, a freelance English to French translator. Since 2003 I’ve been writing on all sorts of areas linked to translation and the life of a translator.