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. :)


24 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.

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    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.

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  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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  12. This is the most hilarious shiv I've read in a while. See how I did that there? ;) I too can be witty. Lol. I'm an RN getting ready to start working in a prison and figured I better start learning the lingo. But this thread ended up making my week. Not sure if my question was answered, but who cares..you guys make me happy. Thanks. I will do my best to treat all the shived and shanked in honor of this memorable thread. Go forth and enlighten the ignorant, my brothers in the search for knowledge...and if you are ever in lock up, remember to be a model prisoner. Ha ha.

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