This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Sunday Rest: prusik. Word Not To Use Today.

It's bad enough being called Prue, but as for prusik...

...I don't know, though. Dr Prusik saw his name used as both a noun and a verb, so he must have had some affection for the horrible thing. Either that, or he really wanted to be famous.

A prusik is a sort of knot that locks under pressure. 


It's most often used, as above, to make a loop in a cord that you attach to a rope, though the term prusik is used in mountaineering circles for more or less anything that can grab a rope.

To prusik is to climb a rope using prusik loops.

Prusik knots apparently have all sorts of advantages over other types of rope-grabbers, and they are also useful, it is said, for extemporising a pair of handcuffs. They are a hazard on ropes with a very low melting point, though, and they don't work at all on frozen wet ropes.

I would suggest, when it's wet and freezing (and, actually, even when it isn't) visiting a nice tea shop, instead.

Word Not To Use Today: prusik. The prusik hitch is named after the man who may have invented the knot, Dr Karl Prusik. The first mention of the word was in 1931.

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