One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A square knot, originally used for reefing sails.
- ‘If you are an expert sailor or you can't tell a reef knot from a mainbrace, just turn up and you can be sure of being welcomed on one of the club boats for a sail.’
- ‘An appealing idea is that if you learn something, such as how to tie a trucker's knot, then that information will be stored in one particular location in the brain, along with related knowledge - say, between reef knots and half-hitches.’
- ‘And it's true what they say about a well-tied reef knot - it doesn't slip.’
- ‘Randhawa, 32, a placid sort of fellow who attributes his temperate nature to yoga, did not feel the need to adopt the lotus position once, probably on the grounds that it is difficult to hit a golf ball when your legs are tied in a reef knot.’
- ‘He'll be playing the violin like Mozart by two, he'll be speaking Mandarin Chinese at three and teaching me reef knots and mechanical engineering at four.’
- ‘His style, drier than toast and tighter than a reef knot, works best in shorter bursts but - except for the occasional mawkish diversion - his new book is hugely enjoyable.’
- ‘But it's very, very hard to criticise someone when your windpipe is in a reef knot from concussive laughter.’
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