In my post about Half-title — written almost ten years ago — I mentioned our practice of sometimes duplicating the half-title at the end of the front matter (in order to add pages to the book in the attempt to reach an even working without too many blanks at the back). What I didn’t realize at the time is that this duplicated half-title page falling between front matter and text should properly be called a fly-title.

John Carter’s ABC for book collectors describes the situation thus: “A second half-title is sometimes found, in 19th and 20th century books, placed between the last page of the prelims and the opening page of text. This is called a fly-title. The term is also sometimes used of divisional titles in abbreviated form.”

Andrew Dangelas in a recent comment on Perfect Binding suggested that there’s a distinction to be made between a half-title and a bastard-title. He writes that there will be nothing but the book’s title on a half-title page, whereas if the page contains additional copy describing the book it should be named a bastard-title. I cannot find any written support for this theory: all the sources suggest bastard and half are just synonyms. But the idea does sound internally coherent, so there may be people out there using the terms to make such a distinction. Anyone know anything about this?