What’s a ‘Hickey’ in Print?

When teenagers, most of us knew a hickey was a bruise caused by hard sucking on skin, usually on the neck.
On Mondays, blokes and sheilas proudly displayed their ugly hickeys as indicators of intense passion and other things over the weekend.
It was a status symbol or a message saying “I dunnit” or “nearly dunnit”!
In printing, a hickey (also known as a bull’s eye or fish eye) is an ink spot or imperfection on a printed paper caused by dirt, hair, or ink scum.
When newspapers were “pasted up” by hand it was also common for extraneous strips of paper with text on them, or nothing on them, to get dropped onto what would become the printing plate—and their images would be printed.
I guess that’s a sort of a hickey too!
via Book Making: Don’t give your book a hickey.

About Derwombat

My name is Rod Parham, Hot Metal Compositor. I was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1947. Single with two children and a grandson. I Love History, Movies and Words.

5 Responses

  1. Stolen Biro

    I well remember a job number coming loose on a standing job many moons ago. All that had to be done was to paste the new job number over the old job number on the existing artwork. This was done, but it came loose and fell across some text. The plate was made and the job run. Nobody noticed it until the job was finished.
    The sh…t hit the fan and the job had to be reprinted.
    After that episode, we were told to have a decent-sized piece of text WITH the new number run out by the typesetter, if possible, so that there was a fair chunk of text to glue and paste over the old text/number, which should be a lot safer OR just add a piece of sticky tape over the new job number – the much more sensible option.


  2. Stolen Biro

    Yeah, that was very funny – BUT the “Rod Stones” appearance in place of the word “pigs” was also a good one – and we all know who let that one go through – although he never admitted it at the time and, to this day, has never owned up!
    It was in reference to the “smell emanating from the pigs at the Royal Adelaide Show” and it being offensive to nearby residents.
    I proofread the galley, but changed “pigs” to “Rod Stones” (as a joke), not expecting the wording to be changed. When the proof came back to me for revision, Rod had done the alteration!
    I drew a huge circle around the offending area and wrote on the proof to return it to me again for further revision, which never happened – and I completely forgot about it in the heat of the Hansard shift.
    The person in Typesetting who received that proof chose not to alter “Rod Stones” back to “pigs”, knowing that it would go to the House of Assembly as is!
    The galley proof went to the Speaker of the House, the sh…t hit the fan – then Stoney and I (and the other person) were called up to Wooly’s office to “please explain”.
    Stoney and yours truly were severely castigated, told to behave and warned not to alter wording as a joke again. The other person said “I don’t know how it happened.” Hmmm!


  3. Stolen Biro

    Rod, that person used to live south of Adelaide, but moved to a much higher eastern state on the Oz map since retiring, which used to be “perfect one day, beautiful the next” (now, “floods one day, scorching the next”) . . .
    . . . and how dare you insinuate The Mouth From The South!


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