Word of the Week (136): BARONG (probability 6162), by David Sutton

A BARONG is a kind of broad-bladed Philippine knife. Not surprisingly, given that some sort of handheld blade was probably about the first tool man ever fashioned, the vocabulary of knives is quite extensive. The Philippines also give us the BOLO. A PARANG is a large Malay or Dyak sheath-knife. The HANJAR, HANDJAR or KHANJAR is a kind of Persian dagger. The ATAGHAN, YATAGAN or YATAGHAN is a long curved knife used by Muslims. The PANGA is a large African knife, resembling a machete.

Archaic words for knives include ANLAS (also ANLACE or ANELACE), a short two-edged dagger, and WHINIARD (or WHINYARD), a kind of dirk.

A CUTTO (or CUTTOE) is a large knife. A BARLOW is a kind of jackknife, or large clasp knife, as is a JOCKTELEG, possibly taking its name from 'jack the leg', an all purpose knife that hangs by the leg.

Finally, the French word for knife, COUTEAU, is playable; the plural in is COUTEAUX.


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