E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Out of sorts. Not in good health and spirits. The French être dérangé explains the metaphor. If cards are out of sorts they are deranged, and if a person is out of sorts the health or spirits are out of order.
In printers language it means out of some particular letter, in which case they substitute for a time another letter.
To run upon sorts. In printing, said of work which requires an unusual number of certain letters, etc.; as an index, which requires a disproportionate number of capitals.