A monkey fist or monkey paw is a type of knot tied around a weight, so named because it looks somewhat like a small bunched fist or paw. It is tied at the end of a rope, in this case around a steel ball to serve as a weight, making it easier to throw. This type of weighted rope can be used as a hand-to-hand weapon, called a slungshot by sailors. It was also used in the past as an anchor in rock climbing, by stuffing it into a crack.
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