Real Talk: Battened Up

Real Talk, in which I explain why we say weird things like “plugged nickel” or “cat’s pajamas.” Also, a place where I can send my boyfriend when he asks the meaning of weird phrases like “plugged nickel” or “cat’s pajamas.”

“Hurricane Justine is flying into town. Better batten down the hatches.”

Hatches, as you probably know, are… well, hatches. In this instance, specifically the grates on the decks of ships. During bad weather, tarpaulins were tossed atop the hatches and weighed down with strips of wood, called battens. More importantly, did you know there is an 1867 encyclopedia by Admiral W. H. Smyth called The Sailor’s Word Book? We are now officially accepting Christmas gifts.

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