E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The Fate who spins lifes thread, working into the woof the sundry events destined to occur. Clotho held the distaff, and Atrpos cut off the thread when life was to be ended. (Greek, klôtho, to draw thread from a distaff; Lachesis from lagchno, to assign by lot; and Atropos = inflexible.)