from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a piece of rope; especially, one used as a lash in inflicting punishment.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
For all that, he had an odd, soft streak; when one of the Chinks was knocked overside by a swinging boom, and we lost way fishing him out, I looked to see Ward lay into him with a rope's end for his clumsiness, or hang him from the rail to dry.
"I guess I can," replied Philetus, with reasonable confidence, "if there's a rope's end some place."
"Well – he ain't just so smart, they say," responded Philetus, insinuating the rope's end as awkwardly as possible among the horse's head-gear.
Harry whistled, and when Bolton came up, Windham fastened the rope's end to his horns, and let him go.