Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

To Batten Down the Hatches (Origin)

What Is the Origin of the Saying "To Batten Down the Hatches"?

To batten down the hatches means to prepare for pending trouble

To batten down the hatches is a nautical term from the early 19th century. When a ship was about to enter rough seas, the captain would order the crew to batten down the hatches.  The crew would close all the hatches (doors) on the ship’s decks and use lengths of batten (rods) to secure the hatches in the closed position.



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