Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Stick.

 Stewing in their own Gravy.Stickler. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A composing stick is a hand instrument into which a compositor places the letters to be set up. Each row or line of letters is pushed home and held in place by a movable “setting rule,” against which the thumb presses. When a stick is full, the matter set up is transferred to a “galley” (q.v.), and from the galley it is transferred to the “chase” (q.v.). Called a stick because the compositor sticks the letters into it.   1

 Stewing in their own Gravy.Stickler. 


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