from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The metal base on which the face of a type is cast. ‘Body’ is used to describe the height of a type as it appears in print, as pica or l2-point body, or as nonpareil or 6-point body. It does not define the width of a type. The square or emquadrat of a type is understood as its body.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Roughly speaking, a point is one-seventy-second of an inch, so that in three-point type, for example, the thickness of the type-body, from the top to the bottom of the letter on its face, is one-twenty-fourth of an inch.
The various attempts to standardize type-sizes and to adopt a suitable notation for them have been limited hitherto to the sizes of the type-body and bear only indirectly on the size of the actual letter.
But on this type-body the face may be large or small -- although of course, it cannot be larger than the body, -- and the size of the letters called by precisely the same name in the point notation may vary within pretty wide limits.
Capitals occupy more of the type-body than lower-case letters and consequently words or lines set entirely with capitals need wider spacing and leading than the lower-case to make composition readable.
Some printers go so far as to miter or shave the type-body of initials to make them, when printed, seem to cling more closely to the following text.