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Stable Keys

as those of cow-houses, have frequently a perforated flint or horn appended to them. This is a charm to guarded the creatures from nightmare. The flint is to propitiate the gnomes, and the horn to obtain the good graces of Pan, the protector of cattle.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Stable Keys from Infoplease:

  • Stable Keys - Stable Keys as those of cow-houses, have frequently a perforated flint or horn appended to them. ...
  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: S - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "S"

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