Just a few moments ago I used the phrase “Katy bar the door” in a tweet to a colleague, and no sooner had I sent it than I said to myself, “Now where did that come from?”
Not as in “Why did I say that?” I knew why I said it. It was appropriate for the moment, topic, and audience (REGISTER!), and it provided the touch of levity I was after in the context of the brief conversation. It’s a phrase I’ve known since I was a child.
No, I wanted to know where it came from. Its origin. And for that kind of question, my favorite website, hands down, is Phrase Finder.
I’m not going to bore you with the origin of the phrase I used (even though Dante Rosetti plays a part, as do a poem from James Whitcomb Riley and a Scottish folk song). It’s easy enough for you, if you really want to know, to click that link and find out for yourself.
Just don’t blame me when you look at the time and realize you forgot to feed yourself, your dog, the hamster …