katy, bar the door
2005-04-19, 8:55 p.m.
Today, Purple's entry reminded me that this weekend I tried to research the origin of the phrase "Katy Bar The Door." When I say "research," I don't mean I actually went, like, to a library or anything, but I did click around on Google and such. And, there doesn't seem to be one solid answer. There are a couple of predominant theories: (1) that it came from an English folk song about a husband and wife who were fighting about who had to get up and lock the door (though the name "Katy" is never mentioned in the song), and (2) that it came from a story that was written into a poem called "The King's Tragedy" that went a little something like this: King James I of Scotland was attacked by his enemies while he slept. The king's chamberlain was in on the plot and removed the bar that would lock his door - and one of the queen's ladies-in-waiting, Catherine Douglas, tried to save the king by using her arm in place of the bar in the lock. She failed and her arm was broken and she became known popularly as Kate Barlass. It's a mystery why the expression caught on in America, particularly the South, in the early 1900's and not in Great Britain. So that's that.
Katy, bar the door! It is fun to say when trouble is on the way (hey, I made a rhyme).
I'm reading: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, which I alternately love and want to put down. I alternately want to kiss and/or smack the author.
I'm listening to: Chutes Too Narrow by The Shins which is growing on me.
Someone got here by searching for: "pissy pontoon"