I've read loads of Preppers' and Survivalists' glossaries and found that most (not all) of them are direct copies of others on the internet, without a thought for a better definition. What I've tried to do here is take the best out of them, simplify the explanations, remove the dross and add things that I believe are essential. If you think that something should be added or better explained then please email me at mal@survival_supplies.co.uk .

Abrasion Resistance The degree to which a fiber or rope is able to withstand surface wear and rubbing due to motion against other fibers (internal abrasion) or an external surface (external abrasion).
Back Splice A method to finish off the end of a rope by burying the end back into the center for braids or splicing the strands back into the body of a twisted rope.
Baler Twine Single ply twine, usually of sisal or polypropylene, used by farmers for tying bales of hay.
Bend A knot used to join two ends or two separate ropes together.
Bight A bight has two meanings in knotting. It can mean either any central part of a rope (between the standing end and the working end) or an arc in a rope that is at least as wide as a semicircle. In either case, a bight is a length of rope that does not cross itself. Knots that can be tied without use of the working end are called knots on the bight. A knot tied on the bight will normally form a Loop-Knot.
Binding knot Binding knots are knots that either constrict a single object or hold two objects snugly together. Whippings, seizings and lashings serve a similar purpose to binding knots, but contain too many wraps to be properly called a knot.[1] In binding knots, the ends of rope are either joined together or tucked under the turns of the knot.
Bitter end In tying knots or splicing, refers to the end opposite the end in use. Used to give mechanical advantage when lifting or pulling heavy weights.
Breaking Strength The measured load required to break a rope in tension; also called tensile strength.
Chirality Chirality is the 'handedness' of a knot. Topologically speaking, a knot and its mirror image may or may not have knot equivalence.
Composite Rope A combination of polypropylene/polyester or other combinations of fiber types.
Cordage String, line, rope, twisted or braided, generally refers to small sizes one inch diameter and under.
Crossing Point A crossing point is where the rope crosses itself, this will happen if we take a bight of rope and twist it to form a loop.
Dacron® DuPont trademark for polyester.
Decorative knot A decorative knot is any aesthetically pleasing knot. Although it is not necessarily the case, most decorative knots also have practical applications or were derived from other well-known knots. Decorative knotting is one of the oldest and most widely distributed folk art.
Dressing Knot dressing is the process of arranging a knot in such a way as to improve its performance. Crossing or uncrossing the rope in a specific way, depending on the knot, can increase the knot's strength as well as reduce its jamming potential.
Diamond Braid Cordage construction with 8, 12 or 16 strands of fibers braided under and over each other in a circular direction. The center of the rope may be hollow, such as in a hollow braid, allowing for easy splicing; or it may have a center rope of parallel fibers. It is generally stronger than solid braid, but not as strong as twisted or braid on braid cordage.
Double Braid Cordage construction with a jacket braided over a braided rope core; two ropes in one. A very strong and flexible rope that doesn't hockle, kink or rotate under a load. It is spliceable; also called braid on braid, double spliceable braid and yacht braid.
Dress Partially closing the knot by drawing up the knot to make sure the knot is tied correctly.
Eight Strand A plaited (or braided) construction of eight strands; usually found in large sizes for mooring, shipping and towing uses. Exhibits no torque in heavy towing. Made of various fibers.
Elbow An elbow refers to any two nearby crossings of a rope. An elbow is created when an additional twist is made in a loop.
Eye The 'eye' is in fact what is often (in error) referred to as a 'loop'. The 'eye' functions in the same way as an 'eye bolt' or an 'eye splice'. The 'eye' provides a means to form connections. Note that the 'eye of a knot (or a splice) is fixed and does not slip. If it slipped, it would not function as an eye - it would act like a 'noose'.
Fid A tapering pin used to open the strands of a rope prior to splicing. It is sometimes hollow.
Flake A flake refers to any number of turns in a coiled rope. Likewise, to flake a rope means to coil it. "Flaking" or "Faking" also means to lay a rope on a surface ready to use or to run out quickly without tangles
Fraps Fraps or "frapping turns" are a set of loops coiled perpendicularly around the wraps of a lashing as a means of tightening.
Friction hitch A friction hitch is a knot that attaches one rope to another in a way that allows the knot's position to easily be adjusted. Sometimes friction hitches are called slide-and-grip knots. They are often used in climbing applications.
Guy Ropes Lines used for steadying, guiding or holding something.
Hank A looped bundle of cordage. A means of packaging rope or cords by winding it into a series of loops and tying them about the center.
Hemp The fibers of a tall plant, the cannabis sativa, grown in Asia; also called "marijuana" or "Indian hemp". It may also refer to a fiber similar to true hemp such as manila.
Hitch A knot that attaches a rope to something, like a spar, a post or another rope.
Hockle A back turn; a twist against the lay that cannot be corrected. Damage that occurs to a rope when a load is suddenly released on the line or when a rope is twisted and the strands form a loop. A line may look like it has knots along its length. This type of damage results in substantial loss of strength which cannot be repaired. It can lessen the tensile strength by as much as 50%. Braided or plaited rope cannot hockle.
Hollow Braid An easily spliced cord of a diamond braid construction; most common in nylon or polypropylene - for example, water ski tow rope.
Jamming A jamming knot is any knot that becomes very difficult to untie after use.[13] Knots that are resistant to jamming are called non-jamming knots.
Jute A natural fiber obtained from either two Asian plants, Corchorus Capsulans of Corchorus Olitorius; used in sacking and cordage.
Laid Up Twisted.
Lariat A specially constructed rope with a running noose for catching livestock; a lasso. Also a rope used for picketing grazing horses or mules.
Lashing A lashing is an arrangement of rope used to secure two or more items together in a rigid manner. Common uses include the joining of scaffolding poles and the securing of sailing masts. The square lashing, diagonal lashing, and shear lashing are well-known lashings used to bind poles perpendicularly, diagonally, and in parallel, respectively.
Loop A loop is one of the fundamental structures used to tie knots. It is a full circle formed by passing the working end of a rope over itself. When the legs of a closed loop are crossed to form a loop, the rope has taken a turn.
Loop knot A loop knot is a type of knot that has a fixed 'eye'. Unlike a hitch, a loop knot creates a fixed eye in a rope that maintains its structure regardless of whether or not it is fastened to an object. In other words, the 'eye' can be removed from an object without losing its shape. When visualizing the 'eye' of a knot - think in terms of an 'eye bolt' or an 'eye splice'. An eye bolt is not a loop bolt - it is properly referred to as an eye bolt. The same concept applies to an eye splice. The bowline is a common loop knot.
Noose A noose can refer to any sliding loop in which the loop tightens when pulled.
Open loop An open loop is a curve in a rope that resembles a semicircle in which the legs are not touching or crossed. The legs of an open loop are brought together narrower than they are in a bight.
Lay To piece together strands to be twisted into rope.
Lashing An arrangement of rope used to secure two or more items together in a rigid manner.
Line A piece of rope, either fiber or wire, which is in use or has been cut for a specific purpose, such as lifeline, heaving line or lead line.
Lofted A cordage material is lofted if it is made to yield more feet and diameter per pound by crimping the fibers and/or loosening the twist or weave to give more bulk per unit of weight.
Long Splice A method for joining end to end a three stranded rope without increasing the diameter of the rope. Not as strong as a short splice, but essential in splicing rope that must be used in a pulley where rope diameter cannot be changed.
Loop Also called a turn; a circle of rope in which the rope crosses over itself, i.e. the end is placed over the standing part.
Marline A cord used for winding around the ends of ropes to prevent fraying.
Marlinspike A pointed spike used to separate strands of rope in splicing.
Mason Line A utility cord used for alignment in construction and other uses.
Modulus The ratio of change in stress to change in strain following the removal of crimp from the material being tested; i.e., the ratio of the stress expressed in either force per unit linear density or force per unit area of the original specimen, and the strain expressed as either a fraction of the original length or percentage elongation.
Monkey Fist Weighted knot in the end of a heaving line. Usually made up of 2 or 3 ounces of lead wrapped up in a rag.
Monofilament Polypropylene or polyethylene extruded in relatively large round fibers of large denier as compared with the fine fibers of multifilament; usually extruded by the rope manufacturer.
Natural Fiber Any organic fiber such as cotton, jute, manila, sisal, etc.
Noose A loop that closes under strain.
Overhand Loop Depending on which direction you twist a bight to form a loop, you will either end up with an overhand loop or an underhand loop. An overhand loop is created when the working end of the rope lies over the top of the standing part.
Plaited Braided; generally refers to 8-strand large diameter rope in either a square or round braided construction.
Ply One of the strands twisted together to make yarn, rope or thread or twine. Used in combination to indicate a specific number of strands (for instance 2-ply).
Polyester A synthetic fiber used for its strength and resistance to ultraviolet deterioration. It does not have the stretch and elasticity of nylon and, as a result, will often last longer.
Polyethylene A floating polyolefin fiber similar to polypropylene, but a little heavier and not quite as strong.
Polypropylene A light weight, strong rope with many uses. It is waterproof, resistant to rot, and floats. For most rope requirements, it is the most economical rope to buy.
Rope Cordage; generally refers to cordage over 1" circumference (about the size of a pencil). It may be twisted or braided, of natural or synthetic fibers or wire.
Round turn To make a roundturn, wrap the rope completely around a spar and bring the running end back along the standing part of the rope. A roundturn gives you even more grip in holding the strain on a line and is the basis for tying several knots, as when making a roundturn with two half hitches.
S-Twist A left-handed twist; a twist that would be laid out by turning the yarn or rope in a counterclockwise direction.
Seine Twine A small diameter twine either braided or twisted most commonly of nylon; used in making fish nets, net repairs, fishing line, chalk line, duck decoy, anchor lines and many other utility uses.
Seize To lash or bind ropes together.
Seizing A seizing is a knot that binds two pieces of rope together side by side, normally in order to create a loop. The structure of seizings is similar to that of lashings.
Set To close or tighten a knot.
Setting Setting a knot is the process of tightening it. Improper setting can cause certain knots to underperform.
Shank A type of knot that is used to shorten a rope or take up slack, such as the sheepshank.
Short Splice Method for joining rope, end to end, when maximum strength is desired when an increase in diameter is acceptable and/or when only a small amount of rope can be spared for making a splice.
Shock Cord An elastic cord used for tie down purposes, snubbing gear, etc. Made of elastic rubber core with a braided synthetic fiber jacket.
Slipped knot A slipped knot is any knot that unties when an end is pulled. Thus, tying the slipped form of a knot makes it easier to untie, especially when the knot is prone to jamming.
Sisal The fiber of the Agave Sisalana used for making cordage and rope. May also refer to the Henequin or Agave Fourcroydes, a plant native to Yucatan, Mexico.
Skein A continuous length of yarn or cord of any desired length, in the form of a collapsible coil.
Solid Braid A construction of 9, 12 or 18 strands of fiber, lock-stitched together. It has a smooth, round, firm contour which holds its shape well under pressure and load. It is excellent in pulleys and winches and whenever a firm round rope is needed. It is not as strong as other braids nor is it as spliceable.
Splice To join two ropes by inter-weaving strands or braids.
Spring Lay A rope in which each strand consists partly if wire and partly of fiber. It is composed of six main strands laid around a fiber core. It will show fish hooks after it has been stressed.
Spun A fiber that has been texturized by spinning before it is twisted into yarn, giving it a woolly texture, similar to cotton. It is common in nylon, polyester and Dacron™.
Standing End The standing end is the opposite of the working or tag end of the rope.
Standing Part The main part of the rope not in the knot itself, the rope not being tied is the standing part.
Stopper Knot Used to stop the rope from pulling through another knot, hole or pulley.
Strand Yarns twisted together form a strand. Strands twisted or plaited together form a rope.
Tarred A coating of tar applied to various fibers, ropes, manila, nylon, etc. to limit absorbency.
Tensile Strength The resistance of rope to a force tending to break it; also called breaking strength, or the force that must be applied to break a rope.
Turn A turn is one round of rope on a pin or cleat, or one round of a coil.
Underhand Loop If the standing part of the rope lies over the top of the working end, then an underhand loop is formed. An underhand loop is the opposite of the overhand loop.
Webbing A sturdy fabric woven in narrow widths for use where strength is required as for seat belts, head bands, etc.
Whipping A whipping is a binding knot tied around the end of a rope to prevent the rope from unraveling.
Working end The working end (or working part) of a rope is the part active in knot tying. It is the part opposite of the standing end. The working end is sometimes referred to as the tag end.
Yarn Long fibers or filaments twisted together.
Z-Twist Right handed twist; A twist that would be laid out by turning the yarn or rope in a clockwise direction.



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