I have always been interested in language, particularly language development and specifically where unusual words and phrases come from. I also have a keen interest in doors (clearly, I am writing a Blog for a door company!). So when I come across a phrase about doors I am keen to investigate and try to find out the origin and true meaning and then I like to share it in a Blog post like this...
The latest door phrase that I have stumbled across is “early doors”, which I believe may originate from our own county of Yorkshire. For anyone who doesn’t know, this is an unusual phrase, which is quite difficult to define, even though I do use this phrase when appropriate. I will try to explain by giving examples of how it may be used in everyday language. For example, I might say, “I want to get there early doors to ensure we get a seat”. This is referring to me arriving somewhat earlier than the start time. Alternatively I might say, “It is too early doors to say at this stage”. Here the phrase is simply used to suggest it is too early to say. So why is the word “door” in this phrase?
I have asked around and had a look for the origin, however it is not entirely clear what the true definition is and the true link to doors. A lot of people are making reference to pubs and their opening hours. There appears to be a link to the early evening period where the pubs are quiet before the crowds arrive, however I still don’t get the link with doors. Apparently some say that the phrase originated due to the practice of British Theatres from around 1870 who opened their doors to customers paying a little extra to enter the theatre early so they could choose their own seats before the main rush of customers came for the performance.
Maybe you know the answer. If you do, please send an email and let us know as I always like to get to the bottom of these things.