Posted by: episystechpubs | July 17, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Church Key

The other night I was opening a crisp adult beverage (Stone Ruination IPA) and I found myself looking for a church key (bottle opener). “I wonder why they call it a church key,” I pondered. It looks absolutely nothing like this Church’s key. To satisfy my own curiosity and share the answer with you, I have a short article from Wikipedia. Happy weekend!

The term in the beverage-opening sense is apparently not an old one; Merriam-Webster finds written attestation only since the 1950s. Several etymological themes exist. The main one is that the ends of some bottle openers resemble the heads of large keys such as have traditionally been used to lock and unlock church doors. The other is that jocularity helped propel the popular spread of the name, with the joke being that opening a beer is an activity that usually has little to do with pious or ecclesiastical circumstances—historical connections between monasteries and brewing notwithstanding.

Key to a church:

Various “figurative” church keys (bottle openers):

Kara Church’s key:

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

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