A garrote or garrote vil (a Spanish word; alternative spellings include garotte and garrotte) is a handheld weapon, most often referring to a ligature of chain, rope, scarf, wire or fishing line used to strangle someone. The term especially refers to an execution device but is sometimes used in assassination, because it can be completely silent. In addition, the garrote is used by some military units. The garrote was employed in Thuggee, whose practitioners used a yellow scarf called a Rumaal. A garrote can be made out of many different materials, including ropes (even skipping rope), tie wraps, fishing lines, nylon, and even guitar strings, telephone cord and piano wire.