I try to find an answer to the age-old question: what—if any—is the difference in between a shiv and also a shank?



I thought, sure, the was it. Finish of.

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Alas, not.

I to be slightly disheartened after analysis this; native the blog post:

ShivShiv is a indigenous that can be both a noun, and also a verb. Together a noun, it describes a knife or, tho better, a slang term because that a knife. As a verb, it refers to the action of stabbing someone with a sharp object. The word has origins in the gypsy tribes of Romania and Moldova that provided such objects. If you are derisive or taunting someone, you deserve to say the he used a Shiv to cut the rope. That course, you claimed it together he walk not exploit a appropriate knife to cut the rope.ShankShank is a term that is used for anything the looks or works favor a knife. The is of food a slang term for this sort of a homemade knife. It may not also be metallic come be labeling a shank. You can speak to a shard of glass v a towel tied at one finish as a shank.

What is the difference in between Shiv and Shank?

Both Shiv and shank are slang terms for objects that look or job-related like knives.Shiv is frequently used to refer to sharp weapon choose objects make by prisoners.The native Shiv comes from the gypsies of Romania who offered them for a knife like object.

The probably incredibly factually correct and wholly dependable Oz TV Wiki claims shiv amounts to shank (and vice versa). What to believe?

This short article in the Teratology blog contains the many in-depth analysis of the issue that I have actually found:

In modern slang, the two space most regularly used interchangeably, in lot the same method that the noun “cemetery” and “graveyard” are supplied to describea ar of remainder for the dead. The amalgamated beginnings behind the usage of the ax “shiv”, merged with a verbal advancement which easily alternates between the two has actually led come a wholly confused usage in the modern-day American dialect. In spite of the seemingly interchangeable properties of the terms, the love of their distinctions lies in the definitions. A “shiv” is identified as a knife. A knife, in turn, is identified as “an instrumentforcutting,consistingessentiallyofathin,sharp-edged,metalbladefittedwithahandle.” Thus, with transitive logic, a shiv is an instrument designed for cutting or slicing in the exact same fashion as a knife.


Despite the seemingly interchangeable interchangeable properties that the terms, the heart of their distinctions lies in the definitions. A “shiv” is defined as a knife. A knife, in turn, is characterized as “an instrumentforcutting,consistingessentiallyofathin,sharp-edged,metalbladefittedwithahandle.” Thus, through transitive logic, a shiv is an tool designed because that cutting or slicing in the very same fashion as a knife.Given the previous description of items related to the noun “shank” (those being items i beg your pardon taper from big to small), it i do not care clear the the noun “shank” much more specifically refers to an elongated article which tapers to a allude and is for this reason is mostly used for stabbing.Similarly, the verb “to shiv” translates as “to slice” or “to knife” if the verb “to shank” correlates with “to stab.”

Hence, the author differs a shiv indigenous a shank relying on use:

shiv = cutshank = stab

Hence, any kind of self-made weapon that can reduced is a shiv. Any type of self-made weapon that deserve to stab is a shank.

I’m not certain that this is the finish of it.

I’ve just heard the indigenous on American prison-based TV-series and only read them in prison-related and also gang-related texts, and then, both a shank and also a shiv space makeshift and also made also as feasible by the usage of crude materials.

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Regardless the vernacular, one must think around these things, especially prior to you opt come shiv or shank someone.