Batten down the hatches

What does "Batten down the hatches" mean?

Today it means: Get ready for trouble or something big is about to happen.

A hatch onboard ship is a "deck opening" and the most important one would be the hatch to the hold; where the cargo goes. If a storm was coming in the sailors had to make sure that the cargo was safe and secure so they would "batten down the hatches". This would also mean closing all windows ("hatches") and doors and generally prepare for trouble.

See also: Batten   

By SailingQuiz November 2019   Category: Nautical Saying              



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