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booby hatch

  1. a small hatch giving access to a ladder from the weather deck of a vessel to the interior of the hull.
  2. a small companion secured over a deck opening.
  3. a hoodlike hatch cover having a sliding top.
  1. an insane asylum.
  2. jail.
Origin of booby hatch
First recorded in 1830-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for booby hatch

booby hatch

a hoodlike covering for a hatchway on a ship
(US, offensive, slang) a mental hospital
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for booby hatch

booby hatch

noun phrase

  1. An insane asylum; mental hospital: King Bolden cut hair in the booby-hatch (1890s+)
  2. (also booby hutch) A police station (1950s+ Underworld)

[first sense perhaps connected with Colney Hatch, a village near London where an insane asylum was opened in 1851; the name became generic for a mental hospital]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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