One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A kind of knot used to shorten a rope temporarily, made by taking two bights of rope and securing them to the standing rope with two half hitches.
- ‘Less satisfying is the sensation of having a hundred Belgian eyes on you while you try to remember the difference between a sheepshank and a half-hitch.’
- ‘To do that would require a knot like the sheepshank, which he knew not how to do.’
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