11.23.2010

Shiv vs. Shank

As my friend Seth proposed via twitter, what's the difference between a shiv and a shank?

And I am here with answers for you all! There is a subtle difference:

Shiv, n: a slang term for something that can be used as knife.

Shank, n: a slang term for a knife that's typically made from something else. A shank can be considered a type of shiv.

So bottom line is that they are both types of homemade knives. A shiv, though, is usually made from something already sharp, like it can be a razor blade attached to the handle of a toothbrush. A shank, however, would be the end of a toothbrush handle meticulously filed down to a sharp point. Make sense?

Hope that helps. :)


23 comments:

  1. Well u r not wrong and u basically implied the closer meanings of shiv and shank, one is for cutting and the other is for stabbing respectively

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  2. Shiv is a noun.
    Shank is a verb.

    She shanked him with her home-made shiv.

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  3. You are wrong.
    Shiv is the noun
    Shank is the adjective

    You shank someone, with a shiv.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment! However, in your sentence, "shank" is used as a verb, not as an adjective.

      In the dictionary as of now (maybe your version is slang and will one day be in the dictionary), "shank" is only defined as a noun, with the exception of the golf term "to shank", sending the ball the wrong direction.

      Just FYI. :)

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    2. Lol
      You must have excelled at grammar in school, lol lol
      .
      Yes, you can stab somebody with a shank.

      Delete
    3. Hey whats the slang word for dictionary?

      Oh, there isn't one? I should have figured.

      Delete
    4. The slang term for dictionary shall henceforth be known as "Bigity Wordity Bookity."

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    5. ^ Thus it was so, and it was good.

      Delete
  4. Actually, a shiv is a homemade weapon that has a BLADE and can be used for CUTTING. A shank is a homemade weapon that does NOT have a blade but has a pointed tip and can be used for STABBING but not cutting.

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  5. I'd say that "shiv" is not a common word
    "shank" is very common though in prison.
    I did some time and everybody (inmates/guards) speaks of shanks there, I never heard "shiv" at all. They would randomly wake you up and search your cell like at 3 AM (sucks to be woken up at 3 AM) looking for drugs/shanks/hooch. I never had any contraband so I and my cellmate were model prisoners in a way and never were in trouble.

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    Replies
    1. You seem like a real winner.

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    2. Funniest thing I've read all day

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    3. Boy oh boy, I wish I wish I could be like you

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  6. I know a guy in India named Shivshankar. So, he has both covered.

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  7. For a definitive answer, go here: http://ulyssesmcqueen.blogspot.com/2012/11/shiv-vs-shank.html

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  8. I read a report of someone being stabbed by a motorcycle key held between the fingers in a closed fist. It was referred to as a shank.

    I read another crime where a prisoner had melted a plastic razor handle or toothbrush and affixed a razor blade to the end. The weapon was used to slash a guard. It was referred to as a shiv.

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  9. My friend got shived with a shank and shanked whith a shiv in prison

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  10. This is all speculative and I have found that the difference is mostly regional. In a South Florida prison, any homemade cutting/stabbing tool is called a shank, and you shank someone with it. Whereas in California, it's a shiv, and you shiv someone with it. I've never heard of anyone "shiving someone with a shank" or "shanking someone with a shiv." You shank with a shank and you shiv with a shiv and they are both the same thing - a sharp homemade thing that can cut, stab or kill you, which you're not allowed to have in prison.

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  11. Ether way you guys solved argument I was having with someone at work

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