A church key is American slang for the old-fashioned beer can
opener which hooked over the edge of the can and punched out a
triangular hole in the top.
This is kinda of silly, but in the interest of accuracy regarding
beer cn openers, there seems to be some confusion.
When I grew up in the midwest (Iowa), a long time ago, there where 2
kinds of openers for getting at the golden liquid. One was a sort
of an elongated hour glass shape wire contraption for removing the
caps from bottles. A bottle opener. Since it resembled a key, if you
had an imagination, & it was larger than most house keys, it was
given the name ‘Chruch Key’.
Then when things got modern & brewers started using cans for beer
the ‘can opener’ came around. The 1st cans though had a funnel
shaped top that was still closed with a ‘bottle’ cap & the ‘church
key’ would work. Soon the brewers figured out how to use flat top
cans & the ‘chruch key’ wouldn’t work & the pointed can opener was
Naturally, someone also invented a new name for the can opener. It
resembled a wrench need to adjust some of the carburaters on the
early cars. Needless to say the pointed can opener got the name
For you youngsters (bg) out there, a carburater was used to
control the gas & air mixture going into the engine.