General Question

Inspired_2write's avatar

When was the first word written in print and what was it?

Asked by Inspired_2write (8219points) 1 month ago

I found this fascinating website for writers or just those that are curious about words but it only goes back to the 12th Century?
It got me thinking other than the Bible ( which was not printed until much later)what was the first printed word?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

Define “print”, then tell us how many cognizant answers you should expect to such a question.

janbb's avatar

If you are talking about print, it would be Gutenberg’s Bible in the 1400s. So the first word would be “In” for “In the beginning” – presumably in German or Latin.

elbanditoroso's avatar


Seriously @Inspired_2write – how is this even remotely guessable?

Figure that the Romans were doing writing of some sort or another before Christ. And the Greeks were writing in their brand of Attican script before that.

And the ancient Jew were writing in scrolls about the time of the Greeks or a bit earlier. So assume that the first printed document (by hand) was a century or more before Christ.

@janbb I doubt the first word in print was Gutenberg’s “in the beginning” in German – my guess is that before he worked on his printing press for production, he did test runs to make sure it would work. So the probable first word printed on a printing press was something like “Experiment” or “test”.

kruger_d's avatar

@janbb Technically, all words on the page are printed at the same time.

LadyMarissa's avatar

According to WiseGeek the first dated printed book is the Diamond Sutra. it was printed via wood block press around 868 ad. the gutenburg bible is the first book printed with a movable metal press. a simple search for ‘first printed book’ will show many reliable sources, including the excavation reports. christianity is not the be all and end all of everything, you know.

This a quick snopsis & you really need to read what they actually said to learn more.

Pinguidchance's avatar

When was the first word written in print and what was it?

The first word written in print was “I” on the Lebombo bone about 44,000 years ago.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@LadyMarissa Thank you for your great thoughtful answer!

kruger_d's avatar

Also, the Gutenberg Bible is the first book printed with a movable type press. Guttenburg printed thousand of poems, fliers, church indulgences, etc first.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther