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 (bĭt) Nautical
A vertical post, usually one of a pair, set on the deck of a ship and used to secure ropes or cables.
tr.v. bitt·ed, bitt·ing, bitts
To wind (a cable) around a bitt.

[Perhaps of Dutch or Low German origin; akin to Old Norse biti, crossbeam.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
I skimmed around for the watchman, a- wondering whereabouts he slept; and by and by I found him roosting on the bitts forward, with his head down between his knees.
"You'll find it knockin' about by the bitts," Leach said, sitting down on the edge of the bunk in which I was concealed.
It 'uz pow'ful hot, deckhan's en roustabouts 'uz sprawled aroun' asleep on de fo'cas'l', de second mate, Jim Bangs, he sot dah on de bitts wid his head down, asleep--'ca'se dat's de way de second mate stan' de cap'n's watch!--en de ole watchman, Billy Hatch, he 'uz a-noddin' on de companionway;--en I knowed 'em all; en, lan', but dey did look good!
There was no withstanding Daylight when he vaulted on the back of life, and rode it bitted and spurred.
I was a man, a god, and the very elements rendered me allegiance as I bitted them to my will.
There is a way to drain it off, after it has grained, by putting clay into the pans; bitt it isn’t always practised; some doos and some doosn’t.
One man I noticed fetch up, head on and square on, with the starboard bitt. His head cracked like an egg.
'They know Arnold Bitts is funny, they know Arnold Bitts knows he's funny and that's why they didn't have to laugh a lot.' Oh Arnold; it was so the opposite and that's why they didn't laugh.