Katie, bar the door!

Katie, bar the door

A call to ready oneself for imminent danger. Katie, bar the door—trouble's coming!
See also: bar, door
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Katie, bar the door!

"Watch out—there's trouble coming!” King James I, who was set upon in 1437 by unhappy Scots, took refuge in a room whose door had no bar lock. One Catherine Douglas tried to keep the door closed with her arm, but the mob broke through and murdered the king. That the king might have shouted, “Catherine, bar the door,” is not too very different from the once-popular phrase. That the expression was brought to America by Anglo-Scottish settlers is equally likely, and for genera- tions rural folk would acknowledge a difficult situation with a shake of the head and “Katy, bar the door.”
See also: bar
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
Use it to make ice cream and give away free samples, and it's "Katie, bar the door!"