Sword Glossary
In our Sword Glossary, we will attempt to name and define everything to do with sword terminology in alphabetical order. From sword types to sword parts, we aim for this to be the definitive sword glossary on the internet. From Samurai to European, our Sword Glossary covers all swords from all time periods. If you are just getting into swords, this glossary can help you learn the parts of a sword and their definitions which are used frequently when dealing with swords. Input is appreciated, if you think we missed something, add it in the comment section below and we will get it added!


Agincourt Sword - A single handed English sword named after the battle of Agincourt

Arming Sword - A straight, single handed European sword with a cross guard also known as a Knightly Sword.


Baldric - A shoulder belt worn across the back that holds a sword or similar weapon

Basket Hilt Sword - An English sword with a basket shaped guard sometimes called a broadsword

Bastard Sword - A name generally given to a hand and a half sword which is bigger than a long sword and smaller than a great sword

Battle Ready - A newer term meaning a sword that is made to be used as a real sword would

Bokken - Wooden Japanese sword

Boshi - Hamon on the kissaki


Chape - Metal piece at the end of a scabbard

Chokuto - Straight bladed sword first imported from China to Japan. Predates the Katana

Claymore - Scottish great sword


Daisho - Set of katana and wakizashi

Daito - Japanese long sword

Dao - Chinese single edge sword used for chopping/slashing


Excalibur - Fabled sword in the stone and sword of King Arthur


Falcata - A single-edged sword with a heavy forward-curving used by Spaniards

Falchion - A curved European sword with possible Middle Eastern influence

Flamberge - A large sword an wavy blade also known as a Flame Bladed sword

Frog - A sword hanger that attaches to a belt to carry a sword for easy drawing

Fuchi - Metal spacer on the top of a Japanese sword handle below the tsuba

Fuller - A groove in the blade of a sword meant to lighten it without reducing the structural integrity

Functional - Also known as battle ready, a sword that is made to be used as a real sword would


Gladius - Roman Sword

Great Sword - Long sword of the Middle Ages

Grip - Part of a sword you hold onto

Guard - A cross section of a sword above the handle used for blocking attacks


Ha - Cutting Edge of a Japanese Sword

Habaki - Blade collar of a Japanese sword usually made of brass right above the tsuba

Hada - Grain pattern of folded Japanese swords

Hamon - The temper line of a Japanese sword

Handle - The part of a sword or weapon you hold onto

Hi - Groove in katana or Japanese sword also known as a "blood groove"

Hilt - Term that consists of the pommel, guard and grip of a sword

Horimono - Engraving on the tang of a Samurai Sword


Iaito - Japanese practice sword meant to feel like a live sword, but with a blunt edge


Jian - Double edged straight Chinese sword


Kashira - End cap at the end of a Japanese sword handle

Katana - a Japanese sword

Khopesh - Egyptian sword that had a sickle-like blade

Kissaki - The Cutting tip of Japanese sword

Kodachi - Means "Small Big Sword", basically a short Tachi

Kogatana - A small Japanese knife that usually fits into the saya of a Samurai Sword

Koiguchi - The opening or "mouth" of the saya

Kojiri - Tip of the saya

Kozuka - The handle section of a kogatana

Kurikata - Knob on the saya where the sageo is tied


Live - a sword with a sharpened edge

Locket - Metal piece at the mouth of a scabbard


Mei - Signature carved into the tang of a Japanese sword

Mekugi - Handle pins usually made of bamboo that hold the tang of a Japanese sword to the handle

Mekugi-Ana - Hole where the mekigi fit through the nakago

Menuki - A metal ornament under the tsuka ito of a Japanese sword

Miyamoto Musashi - One of the most famous swordsmen in Japan. Came up with the two sword fighting style.

Mune - Back of a Japanese sword opposite the edge


Nagamaki - Japanese sword with extra long handle

Nagasa - The length of a Samurai Sword blade

Nakago - The tang of a Japanese sword

Nihonto - Japanese made sword

Ninjato - Japanese name for Ninja sword

Nodachi - Japanese great sword or field sword. Much larger than a katana, was used against cavalry.


Odachi - Japanese great sword or field sword. Much larger than a katana, was used against cavalry.


Pommel - Part of a sword at the end of the handle generally used to counterbalance the blade and to prevent the sword from slipping out of the hand

Pulwar - Afghan sword with a very curved blade similar to the Shamshir


Quillon - Arm of the cross guard on a sword


Rapier - A long thin sword meant for thrusting

Ricasso - Unsharpened part of a blade above the guard sometimes used to "choke up" on the blade


Sageo - Tie of cotton or silk on the saya of a Japanese sword

Sakabato - Reverse Blade Sword

Same - Ray skin on the handle of a Japanese sword

Saya - Japanese sword scabbard usually made of wood with a lacquered finish

Scabbard - A sword sheath typically made of leather or Metal

Scimitar - A deeply curved sword associated with Middle Eastern, South Asian, or North African cultures.

Seppa - Spacers usually made of brass above and below the tsuba of a Japanese sword

Shamshir - A radically curved Persian sword

Shinai - Sword made of dried bamboo used in the practice of Kendo

Shinken - Real Japanese sword featuring a live, forged blade

Shinoji - Ridge line of a Samurai sword that transitions to the back section

Shinoji-ji - Flat section of a Samurai sword blade on the edge side

Shirasaya - Japanese sword mounted in wooden case

Shoulder - Part where the blade ends and the tang begins

Sori - The curve of a Japanese sword

Spatha - Greek-Roman sword

Spine - Back of a sword opposite the edge

Sword - A weapon with a blade longer than a knife or dagger


Tachi - A longer and more curved version of the katana, which replaced it as the main sword of the Samurai

Tang - End of a sword opposite the tip that resides under the handle

Tanto - A Japanese dagger, used as a knife

Tip - The end of a sword blade used for thrusting or stabbing

Tsuba - Japanese sword guard

Tsuka - Japanese sword handle

Tsuka Ito - Japanese sword handle wrap

Two Handed Sword - Any number of European swords that require two hands to wield


Wakizashi - A Japanese short sword


Xiphos - A Leaf shaped, straight double-edged ancient Greek sword


Yakiba - Hardened section of a Samurai Sword

Yokote - Line where the Ha and Kissaki meet


Zatoichi - A straight bladed sword with no fittings meant to look like a piece of wood somewhat resembling a shirasaya

Zweihander - Double edged German two handed great sword

I hope our Sword Glossary has been a helpful guide for you to learn more about swords. If you want more information, be sure to check out our articles on Samurai Sword Terminology and Medieval Sword Parts. Also, check out our huge collection of Swords for Sale.

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