garbo the skies


Jean ("The Garbo of the Skies") 1909–82, New Zealand aviator: first woman to make solo round-trip flight between England and Australia, 1934–35. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
batten1 (ˈbætən)
1.  a sawn strip of wood used in building to cover joints, provide a fixing for tiles or slates, support lathing, etc
2.  a long narrow board used for flooring
3.  a narrow flat length of wood or plastic inserted in pockets of a sail to give it proper shape
4.  a lath used for holding a tarpaulin along the side of a raised hatch on a ship
5.  theatre
 a.  a row of lights
 b.  the strip or bar supporting them
6.  (NZ) Also called: dropper an upright part of a fence made of wood or other material, designed to keep wires at equal distances apart
7.  (tr) to furnish or strengthen with battens
8.  batten down the hatches
 a.  to use battens in nailing a tarpaulin over a hatch on a ship to make it secure
 b.  to prepare for action, a crisis, etc
[C15: from French bâton stick; see baton]

batten2 (ˈbætən)
vb (usually foll by on)
to thrive, esp at the expense of someone else: to batten on the needy
[C16: probably from Old Norse batna to improve; related to Old Norse betrbetter1, Old High German bazzen to get better]

Batten (ˈbætən)
Jean. 1909--82, New Zealand aviator: the first woman to fly single-handed from Australia to Britain (1935)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"strip of wood (especially used to fasten canvas over ships' hatches)," 1650s, Anglicized variant of baton "a stick, a staff" (see baton). Nautical use attested from 1769. As a verb, "to furnish with battens," attested from 1775; phrase batten down recorded from 1823.

"to improve, to fatten," 1590s, probably representing a dialectal survival of O.N. batna "improve" (cf. O.E. batian, O.Fris. batia, O.H.G. bazen, Goth. gabatnan "to become better, avail, benefit," O.E. bet "better;" cf. also boot (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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