Church key

Barbara Need nee1 at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Sun Apr 9 22:08:47 UTC 2000

The other day I saw a pile of church keys in the department kitchen and,
holding one up, asked the other person in the lounge what he called it. He
said it was a bottle opener or a can opener. When I mentioned church key as
a term, he said he used that to refer to an item with a corkscrew attached
(I think one of those items with a bottle opener and a fold-up corkscrew)!

By the way, I've always called the strip of metal with a round bottle
opener on one end and the pointed can opener (for pouring only) a church
key. My childhood was spent in Ohio (near Cleveland) and Massachusetts
(north of Boston).

Barbara Need
University of Chicago--Linguistics

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