Part of speech: noun
Origin: Unknown, mid 17th century
a kind of knot used to shorten a rope temporarily
Examples of Sheepshank in a sentence
"Killian was glad he remembered a few knots, like a sheepshank, from his Boy Scout days."
"The sailor quickly tied some sheepshanks to keep the rope out of the way."
Popularity Over Time
While we know that this noun first originated in the 17th century as shorthand for the sheepshank knot (a temporary knot used to shorten a rope), its literal origins are largely unknown.
Did you Know?
A sheepshank is a knot that can quickly be tied to take up slack on a rope. It’s not very stable, so it shouldn’t be used in situations that require a secure hold.