As a teacher seeing sulky pouting students is part of the job but a sight much less common these days than you might expect as the sound of teeth sucking seems to have taken over. Not so long ago, I actually witnessed a student formulating what I've always called a “fletcher lip” and commented on it to a colleague who'd never heard of the expression, instead referring to it as “making a moue”.
I recall many a scene as a child where I was accused of “making a fletcher lip” and as a result, laughed at. As I've been on an exceedingly gluttonous Herefordshire trip with my family, I thought I'd ask them where the term came from. Old Dear had no idea but Big G was quick to explain its etymology lies in archery: apparently back in the day when strategically-placed archers were a primary form of defence, having the bow's anchor point placed near to the lips when ready to draw resulted in a similar lower lip pout-like expression.
Having just returned from my mini-break, I thought I'd put my mum's explanation to the test and did indeed discover that “fletching” are the stabilising fins or vanes of an arrow (each individual fin being a “fletch”) and that a “fletcher” is the craftsman who makes/attaches “fletching” for the arrows. While there's nothing explaining the exact etymology of the term or explicitly linking a “fletcher lip” to archery, there is obviously a semantic connection.
Both to “make a moue” and “fletcher” have origins in French with the first use of “moue” recorded from Middle French in 1850 and “fletcher” coming from the Old French “flèche”, meaning "arrow” and the Frankish “fliukka” from between the fourth and eighth centuries. As there seems to be little evidence of similar uses of the term on the Internet, I can only conclude “a fletcher lip” is an original Owenism and wonder what pet names other families have for the expression?