Printer's Greek

I’m told this is called “printer’s greek” - used as filler when mocking up a publication. Apparantly it is text taken from a copy of The Extremes of Good and Evil by Cicero, written in 45 BC. (link) but why/when did it get called greek?

Or is my source mistaken?


It’s often used as filler to show a layout without actual content. Some desktop publiching packages show just squiggly lines instead of actual text when the point size gets too small. I think the expression is “it’s all Greek to me,” applies.

Thank you for posting the “lipsum” link - I hadn’t known the connection to Cicero. One note – not all the text of the example you posted is Latin. Some of it is just garble (for example, “sadipscing elitr” and “kasd gubergren”).
I think I’ve seen more examples with patches of garble than I have of pure Cicero; looks to me like the text mutates about as fast as fruit flies.

Cecil covered this a couple of years ago and the subsequent discussion was also worth reading.