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Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Church Key...

Until college, I never knew that a church key meant anything other than a key used to unlock a church door.  My dad, designated the "main greeter" at church because of his outgoing personality, has always been the first to arrive on Sunday morning and unlock all the church doors (before the 8:30am service no less!).  He then stands on the front porch and greets everyone as they come in.  And while my dad will have the occasional glass of wine at dinner, he isn't much of a drinker and has never touched a beer in front of me.  So it wasn't until one Friday night in college when my then-boyfriend-now-husband said, "Toss me a church key" that I learned the more irreverent definition of a church key:  namely, a beer bottle opener.

Of course, church keys originally got their name because they look so much like old skeleton keys.  Back in the post-prohibition days when beer only came in a can (a can that had to be punctured to open it), people would refer to the beer opener on their keychain as a church key (in a very tongue-in-cheek manner of course).  Today, the church key typically refers to the flat side of those openers pictured above, used to open bottles that don't have a twist-off-top.

Now that I am familiar with this new meaning of church key, I have to admit it is a bit more fun than the literal definition.  And whether vintage or new, bottle openers can be such a fun (and practical!) accessory to add to your bar.  I bought this lobster opener for my husband a few weeks ago, as I wrote about here.

If you want to make a small but rewarding purchase, check out etsy and eBay for vintage bottle openers. 
 Here are some of our favorites:








If you're on the right side of the aisle...

Or the left side of the aisle...

For less kitch and more chic, how about an opener with a monogrammed sterling handle?  Not your monogram?  Who cares!

Also worth noting, vintage bottle openers make a great gift for those men in your life for whom gift-giving is always such a challenge... 
So tell us- do you have a church key in your house?

9 comments:

Stylebeat said...

These all have such personality- I love the seal. Adorable.

Betsy said...

What a unique post--I love it! Great history and such fun examples. Also great gift idea!

Brianna said...

I need to find a more chic 'church key', the one we currently have my husband insisted on buying while we were in Germany. He likes it because carved into the wood is written: No one sees me when I'm thirsty, but everyone sees me when I'm drunk! Or something like that, it's inscribed in German, my husband loves it so much he bought one for his brother lol

http://georgiapeach83.blogspot.com/

mandi@interiordesignmusings said...

I have several! This just made me realize that a church key would be a fabulous hostess gift for a dinner party. Affordable and unique! Love it.

shoppingaholic said...

I love all of 'em...

filecutter said...

Thank you for including me in this very neat blog.

Lalla said...

I had no idea that is what bottle openers were called! There is a bar in DC called Church Key - that mainly serves beer- and I had never stopped to think about the meaning of that name! Great and interesting posts!

Jenn @ Living Luxe for Less said...

I have never heard of this term before. Maybe because you don't need a bottle opener for my favorite brew...MOS Charlotte do you know what I'm referring to???

What a clever and interesting post! Seriously, I do love a good bottle opener! I think I need to upgrade to a fancier version...thank you for the great suggestions!

Tiffany said...

love the whale one...so sad it's sold already.

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