See also: Flemish



From "Flemish coil", because the technique of coiling rope in this manner began with sailors from Flanders.


flemish (third-person singular simple present flemishes, present participle flemishing, simple past and past participle flemished)

  1. (nautical) To coil a rope into a neat pattern on the deck of a ship.
    • 1855, Frederick Marryat, Newton Forster; Or, the Merchant Service, page 70:
      In about twenty minutes, after the messenger had been stowed away, the cables coiled in the tiers, and the ropes flemished down on deck, the captain made his appearance, and directed the first-lieutenant to send aft the newly impressed men.
    • 1964, Catherine Irvine Gavin, The Fortress, page 36:
      The two Swedish sailors on deck, lounging and spitting into the water, seemed not to have been kept up to their duties, for paint work and bright work were far from brilliant, and the ropes were badly pointed and flemished.
    • 1976, Charles Frederic Chapman, Piloting, seamanship and small boat handling, page 230:
      When great neatness is desired a line is flemished down (fig. 1122).


flemish (plural flemishes)

  1. (nautical) A rope that has been coiled into a neat mat; a flemish coil.
    • 1864, Captain Herbert - Volume 2, page 38:
      He really knew more of the ropes than half the mess did, though he had made no show; he could have managed to stow the mizen-royal in a squall by himself, if such had been now proper in his position; there were even two or three out-of-the-way knots, splices, and flemishes — practised by veteran A.B.'s alone, revealed to few, and only to be acquired with perfection in the studious solitude of the merchant service, with which Dick Diamond could be seen in sequestered corners to perplex raw hands of the waist or after-guard, he having singular instincts for that art --- but some of which Harry could have explained in passing by.
    • 1943, The Bluejackets' Manual - Volume 11, Part 1943:
      Frequently fancy flemishes are made, for example, with a regular flemish coil in the center and the rest of the line placed in various shapes about it but always so as to retain the appearance of a mat.
    • 1951, Edmund A. Gibson, Basic Seamanship and Navigation, page 363:
      A coiled, faked, or flemished down line is said to be laid up in coils, fakes, or flemishes.