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Dagger or knife?[edit]

Should a discussion of daggers, poniards, stilettos, and related weapons be placed under "dagger" or "knife"?

Under dagger I think. I just checked poniards and stilettos in the dictionary, and they are described as types of daggers. Knife could probably do with being broadened slightly though in this respect... as the moment it doesn't even link to dagger. fabiform|talk 21:59, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Daggers falling out of favour?[edit]

During the middle ages daggers never fell out of favour, but rather remained a knight's side arm. In addition, chivalry had little to do with medieval combat, in fact the Codex Wallerstein demonstrates how to castrate someone with their own dagger.

Although it is unlikely that the Dagger truly fell out of favour during the 'Middle Ages' (whatever period is here being referred to), they do somewhat fall out of the visual record during the eleventh and twelfth centuries as weapons carried in addition to Swords. I'm yet to have this satisfactorily explained to me and I'm not inclined to believe that men who could afford a Sword did not also carry a Dagger/Knife, but the visual record is undeniable.--M.J.Stanham 00:15, 4 August 2006 (UTC)


See: Image talk:Daggers.jpg --Iancarter 23:04, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Your complete inability to adjust your picture to reality, and your continued refusal to listen to reason is bizzare beyond measure. While you forbid all talk about the bad picture and remove all criticism to another page, you put some defensive mumble jumble after the picture. This is enough... I will delete the picture because you won't listen to reason.

Image removed (again). Again, see Image talk:Daggers.jpg. The picture is blatantly inauthentic and does not help clarify/illustrate the article in anyway. There is a good chunk of writing in the caption, but it provides only general information on all bladed weapons instead of anything specific to daggers, thus there's no great need to be salvaged. Uly 19:04, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Disambiguation Page Needed?[edit]

At the bottom of the Daggers page is some extraneous text completely unrelated to weapons; rather, it deals with a slang term also known as "dagger" that is not relevant to this page. Here is the passage:

The word "Dagger" is also used as a slang term to indicate something terrible has suddenly occured. This originated from Washington Wizards play-by-play man Steve Buckhantz and gained popularity on websites like Terptown and also on The Junkies Radio Show. Example: "My boss just told me I have to come in on Saturday." "Dagger."

Jim's friend: "I can't believe you let me sleep with that chick when you knew she had the herp." Jim: "Dagger."

Query: Does this alternative meaning of "dagger" more properly belong on a disambiguation page? If so, would someone who knows how to do disambiguation please take the lead and make it happen? I'm too inexperienced to tackle it, so would appreciate your thoughts and possible help. Jack Bethune 18:42, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Agree: The slang term is not common and should go in Wiktionary not Wikipedia. Case of WP:NOT --Iancarter 22:32, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Agree: The article is about short, knife-like stabbing weapons. That passage on slang shouldn't be in Wikipedia at all. —vivacissamamente 18:52, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

for sure delete the second example, there is no reason that wikipedia should reflect the nearly automatically sexual nature of many internet examples (aka, this is not urbandictionary)

I have transferred the slang term to the Dagger disambiguation page, where I've linked the term to its purported popularizer, Steve Buckhantz. If the slang contributor wishes to elaborate on it further, Wikipedia's Buckhantz page appears to be the best place. Thanks. Jack Bethune 15:18, 9 August 2006 (UTC)


I deleted something about "long, narrow knives called sica," as all the references I found on the internet seemed copied from Wikipedia. We had said they were Greek, before Gaius Cornelius left them in incomplete sentence form and dozens of subsequent editors ignored this fragment entirely. If anyone knows anything about sica, please add it, preferably with details. —vivacissamamente 18:52, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

We need more in-depth information and an expansion[edit]

I think that this article does not contain enough information on the dagger. If you're familiar with the sword article, this article should at least be as comprehensive as that article. We need uses, different dagger types, blade types, et cetera. User:VanHelsing 9:00pm, 9/15/2007 —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 00:59, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

To merge[edit]

This paragraph had been added at the top of the article, please merge it if anything is useful:

"Daggers" can also be used as a slang term to mean a hyperbole form of "struggles." As in: "That I was late to the test was struggles enough, but failing the test and having to take the course over was daggers." Usually, emphasis is placed on the first syllable, and is drawn out according to the severity of the situation. The term was coined in New Jersey c. 2006. It derives from the weapon, dagger, and is used in situations in which one feels metaphorically stabbed by the weapon multiple times.

Nicolas1981 (talk) 07:28, 13 January 2009 (UTC)GREAT ARTICLE! Needs more on the Stilletto Dagger if it is a dagger?alldecdeddatedpm06170921stcentEAJ Thanks!SWORDINHAND (talk) 00:22, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

See stiletto Dellant (talk) 21:14, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Etymology and picture[edit]

I found this nice picture on Flickr, along with this etymology: "A dagger (from Vulgar Latin: 'daca' - a Dacian knife) is a typically double-edged blade used for stabbing or thrusting.".

They could be great additions to the article.

--Codrin.B (talk) 03:27, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Definition of 'Dagger' - common dictionary versus precise technical definitions[edit]

A dagger is a stabbing weapon that doesn't necessarily have any cutting edges at all (see Roundel). A knife is a cutting weapon or tool that isn't necessarily designed for stabbing (see Butter Knife). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:24, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

The dagger was not infrequently a cut-down version of a short sword or long sword, and it is no coincidence that the double-edged dagger possessed the same characteristics of many swords - two symmetrical cutting edges, a sharply-tapered point, and central spine or fuller. Most modern knife authorities define the modern dagger as a fighting knife with the same features. Unfortunately, the term 'dagger' has been very loosely applied over the years by the general public to mean any knife or instrument with a sharp point that is designed OR capable of being used as a stabbing weapon. The general or lay definition of the 'dagger' as any pointed knife or stabbing weapon includes everything from the stiletto to the ice pick, even sharply-pointed kitchen knives, and was quickly adopted by the editors of Webster's: "1. a sharp pointed knife for stabbing; 2. something that resembles a dagger" and other popular-use dictionaries, publications that care little about technical accuracy. Predictably, the popular dictionary definition of 'dagger' has been eagerly seized upon by prosecutors, police, and the courts to define almost any sharp-pointed instrument as a 'dagger' under state criminal knife statutes, meaning that your chef's knife is now a "dagger" in the eyes of the law (see e.g. State v. Martin, 633 S.W.2d 80 (Mo. 1982): Missouri Supreme Court rules jury may find that ordinary pointed knife with four-to-five inch blade constitutes a 'dagger' under the Missouri criminal code; California Penal Code 12020(a)(24):"dagger" means a knife or other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon (note the wording: 'capable of ready use', not 'designed' or 'intended') that may inflict great bodily injury or death. The consequences of using such loose terminology argue strongly for keeping the precise, technical description of a true dagger in the text, at the very least as an alternate definition. Dellant (talk) 16:43, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Excellent summary. I was told by an Assistant District Attorney in Southern California that sharpened pencils and even metal compasses used by schoolchildren fall under that State's "Dirk and Dagger" clause.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 18:12, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

strictly speaking, daggers were originally not shortened versions of swords. The opposite is true, swords were in origin lengthened versions of daggers. In other words, the dagger is older than the sword. But the interesting thing, in historical terms, is the disappearance of the dagger in the early medieval period, and its re-appearance in the 12th century. Afaik the processes involved in this are less than entirely clear. The complicated history of morphology is reflected in the hoplessely confused situation in historical terminology. There is no guarantee that the word dagger in a 15th, 16th or 17th century text will always refer to a "true dagger" as described above.

I agree with everything that has been said about modern terminology above, but as soon as you start to look at the history, both of the word and of the weapon, things start to go out of focus very quickly. So the natural question for me would be, since when has this modern definition of a "true dagger" been in existence? --dab (𒁳) 18:35, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Strictly speaking, daggers, swords, and short swords were frequent reinventions of each other, depending upon the time period and region. What I was referring to in the context of the definition of a dagger is the modern era, in which the basic characteristics of a true or fighting dagger - double edges, central spine or fuller, and sharply tapered point - have become recognized elements of the design, much like the modern Bowie Knife. These characteristics were commonly accepted by knife authorities, historians, and edged weapon enthusiasts - the only groups who take an interest in the dagger and its history, at least until a knife crime grabs the public interest. There will, of course, always be persons who, like the dictionary editors, term anything that can be used to stab another (i.e., any sharp object with a point) as a 'dagger'.Dellant (talk) 20:02, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Just to add to that, sometimes there are conflicting terms used throughout history. For example, when Geronimo was taken into custody, his knife was described as a "spearpoit Bowie", a "San Francisco knife", and a "Sheffield Bowie" at the time. A person looking at that same knife today, 125 years later, would simply call it a "dagger". Here is a pic of a reproduction of the original which is in the Fort Sill army museum [1].--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 22:10, 28 November 2011 (UTC)


This ... thing most certainly is not a Viking dagger. It may or may not be a commercial product given the name "Viking Dagger", but it has nothing whatsoever to do with Vikings or the Viking Age. I despair at the apparent necessity of even having to point this out. Indeed, plastering article leads with images of commercial products may be considered spamming. If Sid Birt is an extremely notable producer of decorative "fantasy" style daggers, kindly write an additional section on modern-day decorative "fantasy" style daggers and present a third-party opinion on this. --dab (𒁳) 18:30, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

OK, we understand you don't like the image. What I don't appreciate is that you stripped out Mike's image without discussing it first on this page and giving your reasoning. Moreover, you did not bother to replace the img with a suitable dagger photo, but left the article without a leading img at all. That's not the right way to go about things.Dellant (talk) 19:53, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Yeah Gene, this article has nothing to do with Vikings. The picture in question is of an art knife. It's a Dagger and it's a good picture. Thanks for your concern.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 02:40, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Who's Gene? And while the article is not specifically addressing Viking daggers, it seems foolish to feature a picture of a knife that was never designed for use. The sword article does not feature ceremonial or fantasy blades (though it includes the former). Shouldn't the article feature something that was actually intended to be used as its lead image? Kafka Liz (talk) 02:48, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Gene is a name of another editor I thought this first person was. Well, name a design and I'll get you a pic...I've got Ek's, Mk2s's, EKI's, and FS Daggers. I see nothing wrong with the pic, it's not a fantasy piece, it's an art piece, pommel and guard are silver, gems are rubies, handle is carved walrus tusk. It's done artisticly.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 02:52, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Look, I'm not claiming to be an expert - far from it - but I don't think this is a good overall representation and doesn't deserve to be the lead image. I've no strong objection to including it elsewhere, but I'd prefer to see something intended for actual use - modern or historical - as the lead image. Can you point me to some images of the pieces you're suggesting? Kafka Liz (talk) 02:57, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
From what's available at commons I'd suggest this, but if you're willing to locate and upload a better alternative, that would be great. Kafka Liz (talk) 03:01, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
I'd have to take them first. But I thik the Gerber Mk2 article has a pic, the Faibairn Sykes piece should have one, maybe even the boot knife article. For the main image I was going for a stereotypical dagger that looked nice, not the Ek's, Gerbers, and FS's I used as a Marine. Certainly not the ugly B&W pieces in the article, either.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 03:02, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
That's just a bad pic in commons. There's got to be something better than that. I don't mind a medieval piece, just think that pic is horrid. I didn't really want to go with a modern military throatcutter, either, though.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 03:07, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
I take your point about the illustrations; they are far from the best, for a variety of reasons. This one is certainly eye-catching - I don't disagree with you there - but... well, can we find an actual combat piece (again, ancient or modern) to use instead? Kafka Liz (talk) 03:11, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
How about the top left knife in this pic I'll reshoot it?[2] Or I can shoot a few now of other knives,post them and see what works?--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 03:14, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
(ec) That would work nicely, I think. Thanks for hearing me out and for taking the time to do the pics. Kafka Liz (talk) 03:17, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
No worries...ok, have a look here: [3] pick one out and I'll take a decent pic, believe it or not, the amber stag handled one on the bottom was known as an "armpit dagger" in the 17th century.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 03:36, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Wow. Nice collection, seriously. Hard to chose, as some are more photogenic than others (just going on that). I have some preferences, but I'd like to know which one you think would work best, since you'll be the one photographing them, and you know exactly what each one is. I'm partial to the traditional-looking ones with the more obvious crossguards, but what is your opinion? Kafka Liz (talk) 03:51, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, those are just the daggers! Maybe the Fairburn (2nd down on left) or Mk2 (5th down on left) they are modern, have the guards and there are separate articles about I kind of stayed away from using them. The Ek would make a nice one to photogtaph...but it's got gold leaf on the blade and someone would complain like they did over the Sid Birt was a gift from my platoon. As to the 2 othes I like... both of them are all black...I'll see what I can do.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 04:23, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Those are the exact three I would have chosen. The Ek (with the gold leaf) would really be great, but I was hesitant to recommend it for the exact same reason. Perhaps we could substitute a photo of it for the assassination drawing (which isn't at all a clear illustration of daggers)? I'd support that, if you wouldn't mind including it. Kafka Liz (talk)
How's this? [4]--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 04:41, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
This works for me. It's clearly meant for use and a good, instantly recognizable example of a dagger. Thanks for taking it. Kafka Liz (talk) 04:55, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks again, Mike, for the picture. Much appreciated. Kafka Liz (talk) 22:30, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

I am happy with the current lead image too, thanks Mike. I can also live with the "art knife" section, as long as it doesn't mix up historical daggers, dagger replicas and "art knives". --dab (𒁳) 10:02, 2 March 2012 (UTC)


Hi, in Italian, Spanish and (I think) other languages, there is a distinction between dagger (it:Pugnale, es:Puñal) and "daga" (it:Daga (arma), es:Daga) the latter being a longer and larger version of a dagger (practically a slightly smaller short sword). Does english have this distinction or something similar? Or does it fall under the dagger category? In some pages it points to Poignard, although the poignard is narrower and appered after the "daga". Thanks, --Amendola90 (talk) 16:11, 3 May 2012 (UTC)