The Vocabulary of Knots

Part of rope names

Every knot comprises rope parts interwoven into one or more loops. This weaving is carried out in specific over-and-under sequences. There are rope parts and minor variations on the basic loop that form the structure of all knots.

The end of the rope being used for knotting is the working end or bitter end. A bight is any slack section in the middle part of the rope. The standing part is the main part of the rope, or that section of the rope about which the end is turned to form a knot, hitch, etc.

vocabulary of knots

A loop is a bright that forms at least a half circle. Bringing the end parts near each other forms a closed loop; leaving them apart makes an open one, (open loop).

When the ends of a loop are crossed, the rope is said to have taken a turn. If the end is passed over the standing part, it is an overhand turn; if passed under the standing part, it is an underhand turn.

When either end of a turn is put back through the loop, in an over-and-under sequence, the turn becomes a so-called overhand knot, which seamen do not regard as a proper knot but use, nonetheless, as a building block in making other knots.

knot rope turn names

An eye is a loop made in a rope end and secured either by knotting or by the more permanent means of seizing or splicing, (as here).

When a rope used in conjunction with another object, such as a spar or bollard, goes partway around the object, the rope is said to have taken a turn. If it goes completely around the object to form a closed loop, the rope makes a round turnTwo round turns are formed by passing the rope three times over the object to form two closed loops.