Older spelling: Nuit

Daughter of the air god, Shu, and the goddess of moisture, Tefnut, Nut was one of the Ennead of Heliopolis. She is the goddess of the sky and heavens and the fundamental barrier between the chaos and order. Her fingers and toes reach out to touch the four cardinal directions - North, South, East and West.

Nut took on several forms during her tenure in the Egyptian sky, the most prominent of which is a naked woman stretched across the heavens supported by the air god, Shu, who is kneeling on the earth god, Geb. Alternatively, she was often shown directly above an erect Geb - her consort and brother. She is occasionally depicted as a cow whose body forms the sky.

The sun god, Re, would travel through her body each night and be reborn from her vagina each morning. As a goddess of the dead her role was that of resurrection - the pharaoh were said to enter her body after death, from which he would later be resurrected.

Her principal sanctuary was at Heliopolis. Her children, by Geb, were Osiris, Seth, Isis and Nepthys

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Egyptian Mythology

1. A hard fruit in a shell, which comes from a tree. See: walnut, pecan, filbert.

2. A crazy or eccentric person.

3. A testicle.

4. That Egyptian sky goddess also known as Nu or Nuit.

Climbing Nut (also known as a chock). The climbing nut (see schematic below), is an asymmetric piece of metal through which a metal loop of wire is threaded. When climbing the climber looks for a crack in the rock which narrows downwards. The nut can be slotted into the crack from the top and hopefully the nut will jam in the crack. The climber clips a carabiner through the loop in the wire and the rope through the the carabiner.

This piece of climbing equipment originated from small pebbles that climbers in the 1930's would carry with them. They would slot the pebble into the crack and tie a piece of rope around the pebble and the rope they were climbing on. This was not a very safe piece of equipment

Post war climbers soon developed more sophisticated equipment such as that shown below (yeah really sophisticated huh?). These pebbles were originally called chock stones which is where the alternative name for the nut comes from.

Several climbing companies manufacture their own line of nuts, notably DMM, Wild Country and Black Diamond. They come in a range of sizes generally from 00 - 10. A number 10 is about half the size of a fist, a 00 is about the size of your little fingernail.

After some time climbing one can look at a crack and recognise which sized nut will fit into it. Before this skill is developed a lot of time can be wasted "fiddling with your nuts". The second's most important job is to remove the nuts from the cracks that the leader has placed.

                      insert nut
side view
   ------          \          |
   \  _ |           \         |
    \ \||           \         |  ----
     \  |            |        |   crack in 
      \_|            |        |    rock
       I             |        | 
       I             |        |   (looking
       I              |       |     face on)
       I             \        |
       I              |       |   
       I              \       |
       I               \      |
       I                \     |
       I                 \    | 
      I I                   ^
      I I.                 nut 
      I I                will wedge here
                                  V direction 
front view                            of gravity
    |     |
    |     |
    |     |  -- metal head
       I                           ^
       I                         direction of
       I                            climber
       I  -- metal wire             (mostly)
      I I
      I I.  --loop through which crab is clipped
      I I

top view

    ------                         A       --
   |     |                          G     |  climber who  
   |     |                           H    V  didn't know 
    ------                            h      how to place
                                       h      a nut.

Also, a fastener used with bolts. This kind of nut has a threaded hole through it, and is capable of being screwed onto a bolt of the proper size. The standard nut has 6 flat sides arrayed around the hole, so if you are looking through the hole, the perimeter of the nut forms a hexagon. Other kinds of nuts include the acorn nut and the wing nut.

In instrumental terms, on all stringed instruments excepting the harp, a nut is a small piece of grooved ebony which is placed at the top of the fingerboard and is used as a transition from the peg box to the fingerboard for the strings. Properly, the strings should rest on top of the grooves, not in the grooves. The nut forms the top end of the wavelength of the string, the bridge forms the bottom.

Nuts are a form of protection used when rock climbing for example DMM's wallnuts. They were original nuts of nuts and bolts fame with wire or rope threaded through the hole in the nut then attached to the rope using a carabiner however over time they have evolved and now do not resemble the original nuts at all. The shape has been optimized to fit into many different cracks.
Nuts range in size from 1 to 10. With 1 being the smallest 10 the largest, however you can also buy micronuts such as DMM's peenuts. Modern nuts come on wire and are usually attached to the rope using a quickdraw. The original nuts were used in the '60's by people like Joe Brown as the sport of rock climbing was being invented

Something so ubiquitous, long-lasting, and useful as a nut cannot help but evolve over time into several distinct variations on the original concept. Several varieties of the common nut have been developed for all manner of specialized applications. Below is a far from exhaustive list of descriptions for several of the more common varieties of nut.

"Outside end" refers to the end of the nut intended to be facing away from the work piece, that is, the end that meets the bolt last as it is threaded on.

  • Common nut: The basic, everyday, ordinary nut is a thick, flat, hexagonal piece of metal with a tapped hole through the center, intended to thread onto a machine screw, bolt, or threaded rod. The nut is usually used as a second brace, along with the bolt's head, to securely hold two things together using the enormous mechanical advantage provided by a screw. The six sides provide a surface for a tool, such as wrench or nut driver, to grip so that it can be tightened against a work piece. Most nuts are six-sided, but four-, eight-, and twelve-sided versions also exist, being most useful when they match the number of sides on the bolt head. Nuts can be used in conjunction with a washer to increase their surface area and help prevent damage to the work piece.
  • Non-locking nuts: These are special-purpose nuts designed to provide some additional functionality to the standard nut design.
    • Acorn nut or cap nut: A nut with a domed cap over the outside end, which prevents the end of the bolt or threaded rod from protruding. This can be done to protect the threads, protect other things from the threads, or to prevent the nut from threading down too far.
    • Anchor nut: A nut with one or more (typically two) flanges with holes in them, intended to be fastened to the work piece with nails, screws, or other bolts.
    • Coupling nut: A long nut tapped from each side to meet in the middle, rather than all the way through in the same direction, used to connect two threaded rods end to end.
    • Flanged nut: A nut with a widened base which acts as a washer, to increase surface area against the work piece.
    • Free spin washered nut: Similar to the flanged nut, but the flange is free to spin with respect to the nut, as a separate washer would.
    • Knurled nut: Rather than having six sides, a knurled nut is round with a pattern similar to the milled edge of a coin. This pattern provides a gripping surface so that it may be tightened by hand.
    • Lug nut or wheel nut: A nut with a tapered end which fits into a flanged hole, centering the nut in the hole. These can typically be found on car wheels.
    • Well nut: A flanged neoprene bushing with a nut embedded in the non-flanged side. The neoprene bushing forms a seal in the bolt hole and the nut is used to secure it.
    • Wing nut: A nut with two extensions pointing up and slightly at an angle, providing grips to tighten the nut with fingers instead of with tools. Wing nuts are useful for applications that must be adjusted or removed frequently. Forged wing nuts are more expensive, but higher quality, than wing nuts stamped out of sheet metal. Stamped wing nuts have wings formed by folding the metal over, leaving a hollow area in the middle. Forged wing nuts have solid wings.
  • Lock nuts: These are intended to lock into position on the thread in one of a variety of ways, to prevent failure by loosening. Most lock nuts require a significant torque to turn, more than can be generated by most mechanical vibrations and other such stresses.
    • Castellated nut, or castle nut, or slotted nut: So called because the outside end is shaped in dagges, like a castle parapet, the castellated nut is designed for use with a bolt that has a hole drilled through it. After tightening, a cotterpin is to be inserted through the slots in the nut and the hole in the bolt, which prevents the nut from turning and loosening. This kind of nut can be found on a car's tie rods.
    • Deformed thread nut: A nut which has been deformed at the outside end so that it is no longer perfectly circular. As the nut is threaded on, the deformed end is forced back into a circle, holding tight to the bolt and preventing it from turning.
    • Jam nut: A second nut intended to be tightened against another nut to bind the threads, requiring significant torque to unbind them. This also prevents one nut from moving in the direction of the other without turning both nuts simultaneously.
    • Nylon insert nut: A nut with a ring of nylon on the outside end which forms itself against the threads as it is tightened. This not only locks the nut in position, but also creates a seal against liquids and gasses. This type of nut is not intended to be reused more than a few times, as the nylon wears out. Not for use in high heat applications due to nylon's low melting point.
    • Serrated face nut: A nut with ridges machined in to one end which bite into the work surface, preventing it from turning.
    • Split beam nut: A nut which has slots cut in the top after it has been tapped, which separate the outside end into four or more sections which are then bent slightly inward. As the nut is threaded on, these sections are forced back out to their original position and hold tight to the bolt, preventing it from turning.
    • Star washer nut: This style of nut has a free spinning, non-removable external tooth star lock washer built in. The star lock washer bites into the work surface, preventing it from turning.
    • Tee nut or T nut: A nut with small spikes intended to sink into a wooden work piece, holding it in place and preventing it from turning. The bolt head will need to be turned in order to tighten this, because the spikes prevent the tee nut from turning in either direction.

Nut (?), n. [OE. nute, note, AS. hnutu; akin to D. noot, G. nuss, OHG. nuz, Icel. hnot, Sw. not, Dan. nod.]

1. Bot.

The fruit of certain trees and shrubs (as of the almond, walnut, hickory, beech, filbert, etc.), consisting of a hard and indehiscent shell inclosing a kernel.


A perforated block (usually a small piece of metal), provided with an internal or female screw thread, used on a bolt, or screw, for tightening or holding something, or for transmitting motion. See Illust. of lst Bolt.


The tumbler of a gunlock.


4. Naut.

A projection on each side of the shank of an anchor, to secure the stock in place.

Check nut, Jam nut, Lock nut, a nut which is screwed up tightly against another nut on the same bolt or screw, in order to prevent accidental unscrewing of the first nut. -- Nut buoy. See under Buoy. -- Nut coal, screened coal of a size smaller than stove coal and larger than pea coal; -- called also chestnut coal. -- Nut crab Zool., any leucosoid crab of the genus Ebalia as, Ebalia tuberosa of Europe. -- Nut grass Bot., a plant of the Sedge family (Cyperus rotundus, var. Hydra), which has slender rootstocks bearing small, nutlike tubers, by which the plant multiplies exceedingly, especially in cotton fields. -- Nut lock, a device, as a metal plate bent up at the corners, to prevent a nut from becoming unscrewed, as by jarring.<-- = lock nut --> -- Nut pine. Bot. See under Pine. -- Nut rush Bot., a genus of cyperaceous plants (Scleria) having a hard bony achene. Several species are found in the United States and many more in tropical regions. -- Nut tree, a tree that bears nuts. -- Nut weevil Zool., any species of weevils of the genus Balaninus and other allied genera, which in the larval state live in nuts.


© Webster 1913.

Nut, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Nutted (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Nutting.]

To gather nuts.


© Webster 1913.

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