Posted by Gary Martin on September 04, 2002
In Reply to: Early doors posted by Woodchuck on September 04, 2002
: : Does anyone know the origin of the (I think) Yorkshire
: : phrase
: : "it's early doors yet"
: : by which iy is meant "there is plenty of time at present"
: : thanks for any advice
: : regards to all
: "Ron Atkinson is the inventor of the phrase "early doors" a juxtposition of two previously unrelated words, which has been unquestioningly accepted into the English language. As such he should be cherished."
: - Lemon, Apr 24 2001
: From what I can gather, everyone has more or less decided he's trying to tell them it's early in the game yet.
: Early doors is also cockney rhyming slang for a pair of drawers, as in knickers. Hmmmm...
: Here in the US, musicians and club owners will often say "The early door looks good" meaning there's a crowd lined up waiting to pay their cover charge well before the doors are scheduled to open, so chances are good of a heavy turnout and a profitable take at the door.
Big Ron has a bizarre and often hilarious way with words, whether he knows it or not, but I'm pretty sure he didn't come up with this one. The phrase has been in common use to my knowledge since the 1960s; more commonly in London than God's own county I think.
The doors are pub doors and the phrase refers to the quiet time in pubs - around 5.30ish. Of course that was in the days that pubs waited until late afternoon to open.