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Diagram showing beckets used to join tent panels together.


Compare Dutch bek (beak) beak, and English beak.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbɛkɪt/
    • (file)

Homophone: Beckett


becket (plural beckets)

  1. (nautical) A short piece of rope spliced to form a circle
  2. (nautical) A loop of rope with a knot at one end to catch in an eye at the other end[1]. Used to secure oars etc. at their place.
  3. (sewing) A loop of thread, typically braided, attached at each end to a jacket. Used to pass through the brooch bar of medals to affix them to the jacket without damaging it.
  4. (nautical) The clevis of a pulley block.
  5. An eye in the end of a rope.
  6. (nautical, slang) A pocket in clothing.
    • 1855, Henry Augustus Wise, Tales for the Marines (page 121)
      At the same time, mind, I must have a bit of a frolic occasionally, for that's all the pleasure I has, when I gets a little chink in my becket; and ye know, too, that I don t care much for that stuff, for a dollar goes with me as fur as a gold ounce does with you, when ye put on your grand airs, and shower it about like a nabob.
  7. A method of joining fabric, for example the doors of a tent, by interlacing loops of cord (beckets) through eyelet holes and adjacent loops.
  8. (England, dialect, historical) A spade for digging turf in the Fens.
    • 1877, Sydney B. J. Skertchly, Geology of the Fenland, page 136:
      The tool with which the cesses are dug is called a becket [] It is a wooden spade of a rectangular shape, quite flat, and shod with iron. An iron notch projecting at right angles to the plane of the blade cuts into the peat, and forms the side of the cess. The workman stands above and drives the becket almost vertically into the soft peat.
    • 1930, Charles Lucas, The Fenman's World, quoted in Frank Meeres (2019) The Story of the Fens:
      In the earlier time sods or hassocks were dug with a moorland spade, heart-shaped, but about 1856 a tool eighteen inches long and four inches wide, with an iron flange, called a becket was used [] The becket was first used in Isleham Fen and was of smaller dimensions than that used in Burwell Fen, being fourteen inches long and two and a half inches wide.
    • 2019, Frank Meeres, The Story of the Fens:
      He marked four widths of the becket to the left, then thrusting and penetrating for fully 18 inches into the soggy peat, withdrawing and twisting the becket, completing the final thrusting on the back run.
  9. (obsolete) chough (the bird)
    Cornish choughs, or "beckets" as they are sometimes known, are seen on Thomas Wolsey's coat of arms, they are a reference to his namesake, Thomas Becket.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ US FM 55-501 MARINE CREWMAN’S HANDBOOK; 1 December 1999