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The Canine in Conversation
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image of a latch mechanism  on a sealed door
figure 1  


dog. (latch) A mechanical device for holding or grappling,reference 1 or, as a verb, the act of so securing.

1. Neufeldt, Victoria, ed. 1994. Webster's New World Dictionary of American English. 3rd College Edition ed. New York: Prentice Hall.

Popular and even professional usage these days tends to be confined to the mechanism which secures an air- or watertight door or hatch. Submarines are full of them and unless you are a sailor or in a navy, my guess is that, like me, the time you are most likely to hear this kind of dog referred to is in a movie involving submarines: Dog the hatches! Dive! Dive!
figure 2  
About the illustrations: Figure 1 is borrowed from the web site of Universal Motion Components and depicts a four-dog hatch. I inset a larger image of one of the dogs for clarity. Figure 2 is © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation.
see also: joe dog Last updated: June 21, 2008
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