5/12/2009 Word of the Day: batten


There’s also batten down the hatches, but that’s one a lot of folks know. This is the one I had to look up. The hatches one refers to a slat of wood for holding a hatch cover, keeping a sail flat, construction work, etc.

bat·ten:

INTRANSITIVE VERB:  1. To become fat. 2. To thrive and prosper, especially at another’s expense:  “[She] battens like a leech on the lives of famous people, . . . a professional retailer of falsehoods”  (George F. Will).

TRANSITIVE VERB: To fatten; overfeed.

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