How would one call a (sort of makeshift) lock on a door (not a shutter) that consists of a hook and eye like the one in the image below?

This is needed for a work of fiction, so a paraphrase would be fine.

Hook & Eye latch

4 Answers 4


It's a Cabin Hook.

cabin hook noun

Definition of CABIN HOOK

: a small hook and eye for use on cabinet doors

First Known Use of CABIN HOOK 1845

Source http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cabin%20hook

They are also used to hold outward opening doors (for example patio doors) against a wall (to stop the doors blowing closed in a strong wind).

Also used to fasten outward opening doors on boats.

Some examples:

enter image description here

  • 4
    A cabin hook is a specific type of latch, which I had to look up to know what it was (unlike latch).
    – James
    Oct 6, 2015 at 14:13
  • @James Shrug. I wouldn't use wikipedia as a good reference for a lot of things. And if I'm going to write an answer I choose the most specific answer I can not some general definition. Be thankful I have improved your vocabulary. Oct 6, 2015 at 15:16
  • The answer is technically correct, but at least in the USA, don't go to the hardware store and ask for a "Cabin hook". You'll get naught but a blank stare. Ask for a "Hook and eye latch" and you'll leave with what you're after.
    – Bob
    Aug 3, 2016 at 13:34
  • Native AES here. Times I've heard "cabin hook" spoken or read before today: 0. Feb 16, 2018 at 1:24

I think the word you want is latch.


Lock would imply you need a key or some other device to open it.

  • 2
    A latch is a more general family of devices that includes your model. Go here: google.com/…
    – deadrat
    Oct 5, 2015 at 8:37
  • 4
    Why does this "seems to nail it", and have twice the upvotes of "Cabin Hook", but is not the accepted answer? For what it's worth, I might not understand what cabin hook is depending on context, but latch is very clear and concise word.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 5, 2015 at 21:14
  • @JPhi1618 it was the accepted answer until DavidPostill came up with the cabin hook, which clearly is more the type of thing depicted in the image I have included in the question. Latch is fine, but looking back, too broad. Oct 6, 2015 at 5:21
  • 1
    Ok, thanks. I get confused by the voting and accepted answers sometimes, so its good to get an explanation every once in a while.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 6, 2015 at 13:24

This is not a makeshift lock!

  1. Makeshift does not mean 'simple', 'basic' or 'primitive'! It means 'created in an emergency out of whatever materials are to hand'. For example, you might take off your white shirt and tie it to a pole to create a makeshift flag of surrender.

  2. A 'lock' is a secure closing device operated by a key or a numerical combination. What you have in the picture is a latch; specifically a 'hook-and-eye' latch.

  • 3
    Thanks for being the only answer to correct the use of the word "makeshift" Oct 5, 2015 at 15:06
  • Hence the bracketed 'sort of'. This was meant to indicate that hook and/or eye could have been improvised. Oct 5, 2015 at 17:50

This is called either a hook and eye lock or a cabin door lock. Your picture looks like the hardware pivots into the room, in which case it's called a cabin swivel door lock.


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