Friday, September 3, 2010

Hurricane Earl

As we prepare for Hurricane Earl to pass through, I've been thinking of the phrases "batten down the hatches" and "hunkering down". Not surprisingly, to batten down the hatches is to prepare for bad weather and it has a nautical derivation. The phrase was first used in 1823 when a sailor wrote about a journey during bad weather when he had to "batten down the hatches" by putting strips of wood on the gaps in the ship and filling them with oakum.

The phrase "hunker down" has several meanings. The first is to sit on one's haunches. OK, not relevant in this situation. The second is to take shelter, either literally or figuratively, for an extended period of time. This is the meaning most typical in my mind, and definitely relevant as I load up on movies and popcorn to wait out the storm. The final meaning, while not relevant to this scenario, does have some appeal and is to hold stubbornly to one's position. Perhaps I should do more of that, but that's a topic for another post. TTFN

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