One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A long light rope, usually of rawhide or hemp, used chiefly for catching livestock or tethering animals.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Californian. From Spanish reata rope used for tethering animals, in Mexican Spanish also lasso from reatar to tie again from re- + atar to tie from classical Latin aptāre to fit, adapt. Compare Portuguese reata.
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