One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A knot by which a rope is secured by passing it twice round a spar or another rope that it crosses at right angles in such a way that both ends pass under the loop of rope at the front.
- ‘It was what farmers call two half hitches, and sailors, a clove hitch…’
- ‘Fixing my life line with a figure eight to two opposed locking carabineers I pay out several feet of slack and attach the rope to my harness with a clove hitch and a locking biner.’
- ‘Knowing that there is a small intermediate ledge before the belay ledge I loosen the clove hitch and attempt to pay out another 10 feet of rope so that I can make it to the next to last ledge.’
- ‘She formed the two loops, a simple clove hitch, and slid them over the right wrist of the figure kneeling in front of her.’
Mid 18th century: clove, past tense of cleave (because the rope appears as separate parallel lines at the back of the knot).
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