Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


By Betty Vanderwielen

Dead as a Doornail

Funky Phrases


A bored teenager might be forgiven for saying, "After 7 p.m., Seeley Lake is dead as a doornail." But what exactly is a doornail, and how did it become the epitome of dead things?

In the Medieval period and probably even earlier, a doornail was a hand-forged, iron nail with an extra-large head. Such a nail was hammered into a door consisting of vertical wood panels braced on the back by horizontal cross boards. The doornail was long enough that even after passing through both pieces of wood the sharp end protruded. The end was then bent over and hammered back into the wood, a process called...

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