Hanging noose used at public executions outside Lancaster Castle, circa 1820–1830

A noose is a loop at the end of a rope in which the knot slides to make the loop collapsible. Knots used for making nooses include the running bowline, the tarbuck knot, and the slip knot.

Use in hanging

The knot most closely associated with execution is the hangman's knot, which is also known as the "hangman's noose".

The anatomy of a noose is such as this:

the open end is called a "Honda"
the knots are known as hangman's knots (depending on styles)
the end that is plain is the hitch

In the US, a noose is sometimes left as a message in order to intimidate people. Its meaning is derived from its use in segregation era lynchings.[1][2][3][4] It is illegal to display a noose in a threatening manner in some states such as New York and Connecticut.[5]


  1. ^ Noose incidents evoke segregation-era fears, MSNBC. October 10, 2007.
  2. ^ Coast Guard tries to deal with noose incidents, CNN. October 4, 2007.
  3. ^ The Many Costs of Racism, pg. 2, Joe R. Feagin, Karyn D. McKinney, ISBN 0-7425-1118-9, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2005
  4. ^ Oriola, Temitope; Adeyanju, Charles (2009). "Haunted: The symbolism of the noose". African Identities 7 (1): 89–103. doi:10.1080/14725840802583355. 
  5. ^ Noose displays provoke new state penalties, June 6, 2008.