Bungee cord

Bungee cord

A bungee cord is an elastic cord composed of one or more elastic strands forming a core, covered in a woven sheath usually of nylon or cotton. More recently, specialized bungee jumping cords are made entirely of elastic strands. Also known as octopus, or "occy", straps in Australia.

Bungee cords were originally used in parachuting to absorb the shock of the opening of the canopy in order to prevent damage to the parachute. Bungee cords are most often used to secure objects without tying knots and to absorb shock, as in bungee jumping or dog sports such as scootering. In dog sports a bungee cord absorbs the shock of sudden loads like a suddenly stuck sled or bicycle so that the dogs are not jerked.

Inexpensive bungee cords, with metal hooks on each end, are marketed as a general utility item for a variety of purposes, such as:

  • securing items in a truck bed, roof-rack, cart, or dolly.
  • to wrap a roll or bundle of material.
  • to hold a door or gate shut.
  • to suspend an item from a pole or tree branch.

Safety

Bungee cords under tension can cause serious injuries if they come loose unexpectedly. Many recommend avoiding the use of Bungee cords altogether.

Etymology

The Oxford English Dictionary records the use in 1938 of the phrase bungee-launching of gliders using an elasticated cord.

Other

The Dilbert comic strip featured a series about a corporate phenomenon that the author called a "bungee boss" -- a manager who is sent to perform a specific management task, and whose duration with the specific group is so short that he appears to have "snapped back" to the manager pool as if he were on a bungee cord.

References

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