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Booby Hatch

Posted by Baceseras on July 14, 2011 at 14:38

In Reply to: Booby Hatch posted by James Briggs on July 14, 2011 at 09:23:

: : I was looking up the phrase my Mom always said to us kids. She would say "I'm going to send you to the Booby Hatch" her meaning was that she was sending us to a mental facility (joking). Have you heard this saying?

: Not quite, but a well known 'lunatic asylum' decades ago was called 'Colney Hatch'. I guess 'Booby' is a play on this.
: See:


["Booby-hatch" has been American slang for insane asylum at least since the 1920s; and even before that it was slang for a police jail, or any kind of lock-up. "Hatch" is used in the general sense (originally nautical) of an enclosure on or under deck; and merchant ships of the mid-nineteenth century had what they called a booby-hatch, a portable compartment that could be set up where needed, or removed to clear the decks. - Baceseras.]