Church key (was: Set-ups (was "Boilermakers"))

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Mon Apr 3 23:31:48 UTC 2000

Well, I guess my sneaking suspicion was right, and I have my answer to the
question, "Is 'church key' regional, or am I just old?"

Peter Mc.

--On Mon, Apr 3, 2000 4:25 PM -0700 "A. Maberry" <maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU>

> I'm not too sure it's regional either. I heard/used it in Oregon in the
> 50s-70s. If I remember correctly, those heavy wire bottle openers were
> called church keys as well as the sharp angled ones for opening aluminum
> (previously steel) cans. I would suspect that by now the term is more
> generational than regional.
> Allen
> maberry at
> On Mon, 3 Apr 2000, Natalie Maynor wrote:
>> Peter A. McGraw wrote:
>> > No one in the "church key" thread has so far suggested that it's a
>> > regional term, but in my experience it has been.
>> > I remember it as a common term during my grad school days in Wisconsin.
>> If it's regional, the region is pretty large.  I've heard the term in
>> Mississippi for as long as I can remember.
>> --
>>  -- Natalie Maynor (maynor at

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

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