Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Claviger - The Keeper of the Keys

A set of old, metal keys on a large metal key ring
Photo by Brenda Clarke


Noun. Obsolete except Historical. Mid-16th century.
[Latin claviger adjective, carrying a key or a club, from clavis key or clava club + -ger.]

A carrier or keeper of a key or keys.

There's something magical about keys - the possibility of adventure, of treasure, of forbidden rooms and locked knowledge, of scandal and secrets that adults and masters would rather be kept hidden away from intrepid young eyes. And if the keys have magic, how much more so the keepers of the keys, the clavigers, who hold in their hands the power and the means to unlock so many doors to so many adventures.

Do please leave any comments below.


  1. In my religion Saint Peter has the Keys to the Gates of Heaven. I guess that makes him the Christian Claviger. ;)
    I remember listening, in a commentary, that delivery of keys - of a city, a room, etc - to a person, symbolizes handing over of the power - over that. When I was a child I always felt awe when visiting Museums and workers had lots of keys hanging by the waist and thinking "wow, she/he must be very important"... I also felt myself important when they had to use them to show me - and another thousand ;) - a room that was being opened "just" for us.
    So there's lots of meaning behind a key indeed. Also mystery as you say...
    Modern times somehow banalised the gesture by giving everyone a Key of (our) Town, for example. But let's no go there or I'll never hit publish and you surely have better things to do than listening to my rants and ramblings ahahahah

    Wishing you a nice day with doors wide open and sun shining through.


    1. Yes! I thought (and still think) exactly the same when I see a person with a big ring of keys on his waist.

      I did consider writing something about Peter. I seem to remember from my post on Catholicism that one of the crests of the Catholic Church is the crossed keys for that very reason.

  2. Hi, Eddie ~
    I saw your post because I wrote and produced a film titled "The KEEPER of the KEYS." It's the first funny self-help documentary - a hybrid with fictional characters interacting with experts - including Jack Canfield, John Gray, and Marci Shimoff. The point of my film is exactly what you just wrote - that we each hold in our hands the power and means to live the lives of our dreams. (for more, you can visit My goal is to empower others and help them to see that they can do and be more. I would be happy to send you a DVD if you'd like to see the movie. Thank you ~ Robin

    1. 'The Keeper of the Keys' seemed like a catchy, somewhat mysterious title for the page. Good luck with your movie : o )

  3. Latin expression of Heracles, who through his toils held the keys for the meaning of life

  4. I couldn't agree with you more ... they certainly hold a lot of intrigue.

    Thank you for the credit & the link :)

  5. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include.

  6. I like these vintage aluminum made keys. I remember my grandma had these kind of keys <3

    Aluminum Extrusion China