If I said to you "John is in carey street" you would probably know that he was bankrupt. Strangely, I seem to remember (possibly wrongly) that I first read/heard the expression in American comics in the early sixties (can any americans confirm or deny their understanding?). Which surprises me, because here is the reason for the expression.Carey Street is the back entrance of the Royal Courts of Justice (a bit more background here). Anyone can walk in (subject now to a security check) for the simple and elegant reason that justice must not only be done, but be seen to be done. But this Carey Street entrance is where the bankrupcy court used to be held. I love the way that they had to creep in the back way, rather than being able to strut through the magnificent front entrance.