Look out for the future, because you never know what it might bring…
Question #1498 posted on 11/17/2003 4:02 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,
From whence does the phrase open sesame originate? It seems to be the ultimate password of all time. How did it disseminate into our culture? Will it truly open anything . . .
- User of oft changing pseudonyms

A: Dear User of oft changing pseudonyms,
Open Sesame, as defined by the OED is "The magic words by which, in the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, the door of the robbers' cave was made to fly open; hence, any marvellous or irresistible means of securing immediate admission."

[1793 Arab. Nts. IV. 125 [Ali Baba] went among the shrubs, and perceiving the door, he said, Open Sesame; and the door flew wide open.]

Etymology comes from Sesame: "A widely cultivated East Indian plant, Sesamum indicum (N.O. Pedaliace�). Also, the seeds of this plant, from which an oil is expressed."
And the phrase just kind of evolved because people liked the Story of Ali Baba and started quoting it. Just like Homestar Runner. Dag yo!
- Scout