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Old 02-18-2005, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Washougal, WA
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Is there any difference between a lasso and a lariat?

I vaguely recall learning, long ago, that a lasso was not exactly the same thing as a lariat. I cannot recall, vaguely or otherwise, what the difference was supposed to be.

Is my vague recall totally inaccurate? Most cites I can find use the words interchangeably.

If there is a difference, what is it?
Old 02-18-2005, 09:54 PM
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I think they're the same thing. Lasso is from the Spanish for 'noose' (I think), and lariat is from la reata, which either means 'the rope' or '(the) to tie'.
Old 02-18-2005, 09:59 PM
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Oh -- I never learned Spanish, so I'm just guessing. But I'm pretty sure a lasso is a lariat.
Old 02-18-2005, 10:03 PM
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Here is the distiction I always made between them. A lasso can be made by knotting and looping any piece of rope.

A lariat, however, is an actual piece of cowboy equipment made for lassoing. Older versions could be made from rawhide or stiffened natural fiber rope. Commercial versions today often use sythetic materials. The rope is quite stiff unlike the rope that you have around your house. Also, the loop is not knotted but joined to the main body of the rope by a moveable fastener. Some also have decorations on them.

Here is an article with some good info.. It basically agrees with what I said.

You are right though. This is a hard one to answer by reading on the net. I based my answers on my experience being around my cowboy cousins growing up.
Old 02-18-2005, 10:33 PM
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Location: Buford, Georgia
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Something I've always found interesting, at least until someone comes into this thread and disabuses me, is that on the three great grasslands of the earth, the mounted herdsmen adopted unique methods for the same function: the lasso on the N. American plains, a noose on a stick in Mongolia; and the bolo (two steel balls on the end of a Y-shaped thong) on the Pampas.

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