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  • In Denmark a horeunge is the the word for widow, which in typesetting refers to the final line of a paragraph that falls at the top the following page of text, separated from the remainder of the paragraph on the previous page.

    Now the correct translation of the word horeunge is not a widow, but a child born outside marriage. Also known as a bastard child.

    The term can also be used to refer simply to an uncomfortably short (e.g. a single word or two very short words) final line of a paragraph.

    A related term, orphan, refers to the first line of a paragraph appearing on its own at the bottom of a page with the remaining portion of the paragraph appearing on the following page; in other words the first line of the paragraph has been "left behind" by the remaining portion of text.

    Note that a widow, by the second definition above, can also fall at the bottom of a page, in the sense that the page ends on a very short line at the end of a paragraph.

    An illustration of a widowed line, highlighted in yellow, appearing at the top of a page. One easy way to remember the difference between an orphan and a widow is to remember that orphans "have no past, but a future", while widows "have a past but no future" just as an orphan or widow in life.

    December 20, 2007