Cunt splice

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A 'cunt splice', often softened to 'cut splice' or 'bight splice' for publication and in genteel conversation, is formed by eye splicing two different pieces of line into each other the same distance from the bitter end of each piece, forming "a Collar or the Bight of the Rope. It is used for Pendents, Jib-Guys, &c."[1] Because the Eye is in the middle of the resultant rope, tension in the rope will tighten the eye around a wooden collar or fairlead. In Master and Commander, the bosun, Mr. Watt, personally works a cunt splice into the breeching for the twelve-pounder bow-chaser that Aubrey mounts in HMS Sophie.[2]



  1. Lever, Darcy. The Young Sea Officer's Sheet Anchor: or, A Key to the Leading of Rigging and to Practical Seamanship. (c)1998 by Dover Publications, Inc.: p.5
  2. O'Brian, Patrick. Master and Commander. (c) 1969 by Patrick O'Brian. J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia and New York, First Edition: p. 63. What purpose this splice would serve is unclear; breech ropes were not typically spliced but, rather, rove through an iron loop atop the cascabel, q.v., this image of a carronade aboard HMS Victory. It is conceivable that the gun's cascabel knob would have been placed in the splice. In that case, as the gun recoiled, the increased tension in each side of the splice would have tightened it around the cascabel knob.
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