Wednesday, October 26, 2016
A knife question for my readers
As part of a forthcoming book, I'm trying to describe a knife that will play an important role in proceedings. It needs to be distinctive and easily recognizable, so I'd originally planned to have its blade in a sort of karambit style, with its tip curving down rather than up. There are many such blades in numerous cultures. For those who may not know what I'm talking about, here are a few examples.
Milwaukee Fastback hawk bill folding utility knife:
Cold Steel Tiger Claw folding karambit knife:
Gurkha Aeof Kukri fixed blade knife from Nepal:
The problem is that I'm writing a description, rather than showing a picture. Words aren't as clear as images to someone unfamiliar with what I'm talking about. What's more, the book will be read by people in various countries and parts of the world. I might understand the term 'karambit', but someone who isn't interested in knives, or hasn't been exposed to a 'knife culture', won't. In the same way, terms such as 'jambiya' or 'khanjar' (both of them curved daggers) are not familiar to many in the USA.
Therefore, my question is this. Is there a 'standard' or 'universal' name that anyone, from anywhere in the world, who's somewhat knowledgeable about knives, would instantly recognize as meaning a knife with a downward-curving point? Is there a name for such blades that transcends a particular culture and is commonly understood around the globe?
There may not be a universal descriptor, of course. In that case, I'll have to change my approach and use a more conventional knife that doesn't appear too exotic, and therefore doesn't need a lengthy description. However, I'd like to make the knife a prominent feature of the book, so I'll be grateful if any of you can help me out here. Thanks in advance.