I'm sure you know the bit of metal I'm talking about, but I could hardly describe it like that in a piece of professional writing.
The thing is, how come I had no idea what the thingy on the door was called? I mean, I haven't lived a life devoid of door-handle malfunction, but, as far as I can remember, communicating this fact has consisted of shouting something like: Help, the thingy's bust! or Hello? Hello? Is there anybody there? HELP!
So I looked it up, and it's called a latchbolt.
Knowing that fact is of no use, of course, because no one will understand what I'm talking about. But knowledge has its own satisfactions.
It's quite cool knowing that the room in which I'm writing this features two armoured fronts, too.
Word To Use Today: latchbolt. The Old English læccan meant to seize. The Old English word bolt meant arrow.