a bunch of old fashioned keys

A key to a home can be a very important symbol as well as a useful object. Most households have locks that use keys to open them on the external doors. Some homes will also have locked spaces that require a key -- such as a lock on a medicine cabinet, gun safe or gate for a fence protecting people from being harmed in a pool. And people in many homes have car keys too.

Since keys have a way of getting lost or misplaced, it's usually a good idea to have a spare key or spare set of keys put away in a safe place. You may want to ask a neighbor you trust to keep a key to your home, or let you hide it on their property. (So many people hide keys under their own doormats or above the sill that that is not really a good hiding place, but under the neighbor's doormat may be more secure.)

It can be convenient if all the locks can be re-keyed to use the same key.

An alternative to a keyed lock is one that uses a combination -- either the older turn style, levers or with a keypad.


Phrases with the work key tend to denote something that is critical to the situation, including:

  • key to my heart
  • keyword
  • keynote speaker
  • key to the city



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