One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A pair of posts on the deck of a ship for fastening mooring lines or cables.
- ‘And how many boats have their windlasses, cleats and bitts attached firmly enough that they would not tear out?’
- ‘He makes it fast to the cable - he reeves the jeer-fall through it - the jeer-fall is brought to the capstan, with the standing part belayed to the bitts.’
- ‘She has done considerable damage to herself, my after bitts are sheered off level with the deck, my stern chocks are pulled out and about 10 feet of the rail, including two stanchions.’
- ‘If the term ‘mooring’ is used to include a berth alongside then the gear which comprises the mooring - the bollards, bitts and rings, are in the case of St Peter's Quay, all on private property.’
Middle English: probably of Low German origin.
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