1) an oblong. galvanized or stainless-steel fitting with flared margins and an open-ended base. 2) a device used to increase the bend radius of and reduce wear on a rope when attached to hardware.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
thimble (noun)
1.
a pitted cap or cover worn on the finger to push the needle in sewing
2.
a) a grooved ring of thin metal used to fit in a spliced loop in a rope as protection from chafing
b) a lining (as of metal) for an opening (as in a roof or wall) through which a stovepipe or chimney passes
thimble (Wikipedia)
A thimble
Der Fingerhüter (Thimblemaker) from Das Ständebuch by Jost Amman, 1568

A thimble is a small hard pitted cup worn for protection on the finger that pushes the needle in sewing. Usually, thimbles with a closed top are used by dressmakers but special thimbles with an opening at the end are used by tailors as this allows them to manipulate the cloth more easily. Finger guards differ from tailors' thimbles in that they often have a top but are open on one side. Some finger guards are little more than a finger shield attached to a ring to maintain the guard in place. The Old English word þȳmel, the ancestor of thimble, is derived from Old English þūma, the ancestor of the English word ‘thumb’.

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