One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A series of small rope lines fastened across a sailing ship's shrouds like the rungs of a ladder, used for climbing the rigging.‘I scrambled back down the ratlines’
- ‘Pamela watched the men climbing the ratlines, standing on the yards, or in the footropes.’
- ‘Aloft, there were the conventional ratlines on both sides of each mast to gain access to the rigging.’
- ‘In the fresh wind the vibration of the shrouds as fifty men ran up the ratlines could be distinctly heard.’
- ‘The divers kitted up in harnesses and ascended the wet ratlines.’
- ‘The product of a seafaring family, Seal is at home among the rigging, the ratlines, the shrouds and spars of his leading lady.’
Late Middle English: of unknown origin.
Top tips for CV writingRead more
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.