galleys

Today I ended up looking up the etymology of the word “galley” to refer to page proofs in publishing. I’m reminded of why I love the OED:

5. Printing. a. [F. galée.] An oblong tray of brass, wood, or zinc, to which the type is transferred from the composing-stick.

1652 URQUHART Jewel Wks. (1834) 182 His [the setter’s] plenishing of the gally, and imposing of the form. 1683 MOXON Mech. Exerc. II. 25 Our Master Printer is also to provide Galleys of different sizes. 1777 HOOLE Comenius’ Vis. World (ed. 12) 118 He putteth these in a gally till a page be made. 1864 Daily Tel. 28 June, Three or four compositors..bring up their various contribution of type to the long ‘galley’ in which the article is put together.

b. A galley-proof; = SLIP n.2 10d.

1890 in WEBSTER. 1934 T. R. COWARD in G. Gross Publishers on Publishing (1961) 149 When the corrections are made, the galleys go back to the printer and are made into page proofs. 1951 S. JENNETT Making of Books I. vi. 88 The page proofs come to the reader, and must be checked against the corrected galleys, to see that all the corrections have been carried out. 1971 Times Lit. Suppl. 20 Aug. 999/1, I have had galleys from Penguin Books, but more usually the finished product, fresh misprints and all.

Unfortunately, I don’t know where the word galée comes from, or if it has any relation to the maritime use.