Origin of "leaving the door open"

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on April 05, 2005

In Reply to: Origin of "leaving the door open" posted by ESC on April 03, 2005

: : My son is writing a speach for school on "leaving the door open". Any ideas?

: It's hard to pin down who first used an open door to represent keeping your options open. But door images are old and common.

: According to one reference, the proverb "When one door shuts, another opens" dates back to the 16th century. Another proverb from the 16th century: "Opportunity never knocks twice at any man's door." From the "Oxford Dictionary of Quotations," Fifth Edition, edited by Elizabeth Knowles (Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 2001).

Conversely, there's the proverb "to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted", which means "to take precautions when it's too late".