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A - G



Alpine Butterfly - A loop tied in the bight. One of the several so called 'Butterfly knots' which are used for the middle man on a rope when rock or mountain climbing. More than one of these knots has been called the 'Alpine' Butterfly but the knot illustrated is believed to be the most effective in use.


Anchor Hitch - There is no single specific knot known only by this name but the Fishermans Bend probably has first claim to the title. A variety of other hitches has been used for this purpose including the Round Turn and Two Half Hitches.

Angler's Loop - Another name for the Middleman's Knot.

Artillery Knot - Another name for the Man Harness Knot.




Back Hand Hitch - An excellent hitch which only requires a single pass round a post or spar, yet provides a double bearing. It is particularly useful when hitching to objects, access to which is difficult (for example, fixing a tow rope to the axle of a car)
Back Splice - Also known as Crown Splice and Dog Pointing. A simple and effective method of finishing the end of a rope in which a Crown Knot is made with the strands at the end which are then spliced back into the rope. It is clumsy compared with Whipping but useful in an emergency or if it is desirous to know by feel when the end of the rope has been reached.
Bale Sling Hitch - An effective hitch for slinging or hoisting cases, bales, logs, etc. It cannot jam nor slip and is immediately cast off. It is the commonest form of Barrel Sling when the barrel must be hoisted with the bung uppermost. It has the same form as the Lark's Head Knot.
Barrel Hitch - This is the simplest yet most effective method of slinging or hoisting a barrel in a vertical position


Becket - Definition The eye or hook of a pulley block. A rope handle on a sailors sea chest. An eye in the end of a rope. There are also certain specialised meanings.


Becket Hitch - Any hitch that is made on an eye, etc. (i.e. on a 'becket' is a Becket Hitch but the Becket Hitch is the one illustrated here. It has the same form as the Sheet Bend).


Belay - To secure a rope with figure-of-eight turns around a belaying pin or a cleat, etc. Climbers have adopted the term from the sailor: the leader on a climb 'belays' the following man by passing the rope across his shoulder or waist, taking up all the slack and paying out or drawin in under friction as the second man climbs.


Bellringers Knot - A method of taking up the slack of a rope when one end is secured at a height with the rope hanging. So called because it is a common method used by bellringers to hoist up the bulk of the rope off the floor and out of the way. It is actually half a Sheepshank.


Bend - Definition A knot which is used to tie two ropes together by their ends. As a verb, the act of tying two ropes together by their ends.

Bight - Definition 1. The portion of a rope between the end and the standing part. 2. Any slack part of a rope, particularly if in the form of a loop or partial loop.


Blackwall Hitch - A simple yet secure method of fastening a rope to a hook: it should only be used when the thickness of the rope is nearly enough to fill the mouth of the hook. The Double Blackwall Hitch is a variation in which a turn is taken round the neck of the hook.
Blood Knot - A multiple Overhand Knot tied in the end of a heaving line. It derives its name from its use in a ropes end which was used as a weapon or for inflicting ounishment, when it would often 'draw blood'. This knot was used by the Incas of Peru in 'Quipus' or knot records.
Bowline - The most useful and one of the simplest ways of putting a fixed loop in the end of a rope. It is easy to tie and to untie, it never slips nor jams and has a high breaking strength. It has been called the 'King of Knots'.
Bowline Bend - A bend formed from two interlocking Bowlines. Most useful for joining two ropes of widely different thicknesses.
Bowline-on-a-bight - A double loop knot which is tied in the bight when the two ends are fixed or inaccessible. The strain should come equally on both standing parts. A good rescue or chair knot.
Buntline Hitch - An excellent and safe knot. Since the second half-hitch is jammed inside the first it is superior to two half-hitches.






Cable or Cable Laid Rope - Three plain or hawser laid ropes which are righthanded, laid up together lefthanded, making a nine-strand rope.

Cable Length - As a unit of measurement, 100 fathoms. As a length of actual cable, usually 120 fathoms.


Carrick Bend - An excellent knot, probably the nearest to the perfect bend. It is symmetrical, easy to tie, will not slip nor ham, is very strong and is easily untied. Its particular use is as a bend for hawsers and cables. It can be used in two forms, drawn up or open and seized and it should always be tied so that the two ends are diagonally opposite.
Cats Paw - The most suitable Hook Hitch for slings and probably the best. It cannot jam and spills immediately when taken from the hook. It is particularly suitable for heavy lifts.
Clove Hitch - The nearest there is to a general utility hitch. It is easy to tie in a number of different ways and to untie. It has a wide variety of uses but care should be taken not to misuse it: it is so easy to use it when a more suitable hitch (e.g. a Rolling Hitch etc.) would serve better.
Constrictor Knot - The best and most secure of all binder knots. Provided that it is tied on a convex surface it cannot slip and grips like a boa-constrictor, hence its name given it by Ashley who discovered it. It is, however, often very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to untie it.


Cordage - Definition The general term for all twisted or laid-up rope, irrespective of size or material.


Crabbers Eye Knot - Also called the Crossed Running Knot. When tied loosely, the standing part can be pulled and the knot slid to the required position: a pull on the end then locks it.
Cringle - A knot closely allied to splicing in which a single strand is worked into another rope, such as the bolt rope of a sail, to provide a loop, usually to retain a thimble.
Crown - A knot that is tied in the end of a rope with the unlaid strands. It is seldom, if ever, used on its own but as a constituent part of a multiple knot, e.g. a Wall and Crown, etc. It is also used to commence a Back Splice. The Crown Knot is the exact opposite of the Wall Knot.





Diagonal Lashing - A lashing used for two crossing spars when it is neccessary first to draw them together. Commonly used for the centre lashing of the diagonal braces on a Treatle.
Diamond Knot - A knot tied with the unlaid strands of a rope to provide a stopper or a foothold, etc. Also used as a decorative knot, for example, in lanyards. Can be increased in size and improved in appearance by 'doubling'.


Dogshank - Another name for the Sheepshank.


Double Blackwall Hitch - This has one more turn than the Blackwall Hitch and is sometimes recommended as being more secure. It is doubtful, however, whether this is the case and it would appear that this is an instance where the simpler form of the knot is to be preferred.


Double Matthew Walker - See under Matthew Walker.


Double Sheet Bend - The Sheet Bend is never truly safe and secure when one rope is thicker than the other. The Double Sheet Bend is a variation in which an extra turn is taken and, although it is no stronger, it is more secure. Still another turn can be taken , if thought advisable, making a Triple Sheet Bend.


Draw Hitch - See under Highwaymans Hitch.





End - Definition The termination of a rope or the free part towards the termination with which a knot is being tied.

Eye - Definition A spliced, seized or knotted loop in a rope, usually at the end. It will often be fitted with a thimble.


Eye Splice - A method of putting a permanent eye in the end of a rope. The strands are unlaid, a loop of suitable size formed and the three strands spliced or worked in and out of the rope, usually under and over. Three 'tucks' are normally taken.






Fall - Definition The rope of a tackle or sometimes the hauling end of a tackle.


Farmers Loop - An excellent loop tied in the bight. It has a good lead, is strong and secure and is tied by an ingenious and easily remembered method. It is to be preferred to the better known Man Harness Knot.
Fid - Definition A long, tapering cone, usually of hard wood, used to open the strands in spicing, rounding out eyes, untying reluctant knots, etc. The rounded end is also used for pounding.
Figure-of-Eight Knot - Sometimes called the Flemish Knot. A single strand Stopper Knot, usually when only a temporary stopper is required or when using small stuff.
Firemans Chair Knot - A double loop knot used for lowering an injured person from a height. It is tied in the bight, one end secured aloft and the other end used to control the direction of lowering.
Fishermans Bend - This is one of just three knots incorrectly called 'bends' which are actually hitches. It is strong and secure and is probably the most used Anchor Hitch, apart from being an excellent hitch for all normal purposes.
Fishermans Knot - Also called Water Knot, Anglers Knot etc. It is formed from two overhand knots each tied round the opposite end: it is very suitable for rope in general and is used mainly for small stuff. It is, however, beginning to find favour amongst climbers as a bend for nylon rope.


Flake - Definition. A turn, or a number of turns in a coil of rope. Falking - Coiling rope in various ways.


Footrope Knot - A stopper knot for the end of a rope. It is similar to the Diamond Knot but is tied by first making a Crown with the unlaid strands and then a Wall Knot below the Crown, the ends being brought up through the centre of the Crown. This knot can be doubled by following through above the first lead. The name is often applied also to the Standing Turks Head.


Frapping - Definition. Crossing turns taken in a lashing or on the leads of a tackle to both tighten and secure them.


Granny Knot - Also called the Lubbers Knot. It resembles a Reef Knot superficially but it is inferior and should never be used. As the two half knots are tied in the same direction and not opposite as in the Reef Knot, it tends either to slip or to jam, or both.


Guyline Hitch - See Midshipmans Hitch. Adjustable Guyline Hitch. Start with two overhand knots fairly close to each other, rope round peg, back upwards then DOWN into the two knots. Will adjust by pulling and jams to your adjustment. Needs no other knot to hold tight! Paul Calleja-Gera Group Scout Leader 15th Cheltenham (SHURDINGTON)





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Copyright 2001 1st/11th Roscommon Scouts
Last modified: June 23, 2002


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