Quick Reference

1 A twisting hitch made in the bight of a rope to form two eyes, through which the hook of a tackle is passed for hoisting purposes.

2 The name given to a ruffle on the water indicating a breath of wind during a calm. Old sailors, on seeing a catspaw on the surface while becalmed, would frequently rub the ship's backstay (as though fondling a cat) and whistle to induce the wind to come to the ship.

Subjects: Maritime History.

Reference entries