though why a doornail should be the deadest piece of ironmongery...
Yeah, and why should we drop it like it's hot? That's how things get broken ..
http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-dea1.htm "If you hammer a nail through a piece of timber and then flatten the end over on the inside so it can’t be removed again (a technique called clinching), the nail is said to be dead, because you can’t use it again. Doornails would very probably have been subjected to this treatment to give extra strength in the years before screws were available."