1. G. Anderson

    G. Anderson Active Member

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    Wound from a knife

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by G. Anderson, Nov 11, 2016.

    Hi All,

    So, here I am on a Friday evening writing away on my story. This story includes a scene of racist violence. And I am looking for a word for a knife wound that's more like a scratch, but 'scratch' sounds like something your child will get from the running too fast on the playground.

    I am thinking of something like a riff or a rift? But I can't find any info on these words online, so can any native (English) speakers help be with what word I am looking for, or perhaps you have a suggestion?

    It's written in British English and takes place in Bristol so American slang may be a bit out of tune with the book :)

    Thanks!

    Best,
    G.

    P.S. It's actually a lovely feel-good story by the end but I am only just before the middle now.
     
  2. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Shenanigan Master Contributor

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    Cut? I'm American, so I'm not sure, but riff or rift does not sound right for a knife wound. 'Riff' is a musical term I think. 'Rift' is a gap, but I've never heard or read it used to describe any type of wound.
     
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  3. PilotMobius

    PilotMobius Active Member

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    Instead of using a word to explicitly denote the injury, describe the pain and blood resulting from it. Otherwise, "cut" sounds about right.
     
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  4. G. Anderson

    G. Anderson Active Member

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    Thank you! Cut is much better than scratch for this scene!

    Yeah, I am not sure why I have this inside my head since it doesn't seem to be correct at all. Perhaps I once dreamed that I got a knife riff/rift. Whatever that was.
     
  5. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    I am not native, but 'gaping apart'?
     
  6. G. Anderson

    G. Anderson Active Member

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    Thanks! However, the character receiving the cut is not the character whose POV we follow, so describing the pain would confuse the chapter. Describing the blood is a bit too violent for the audience I am intending it for. But I like the idea of describing it instead of saying it.
     
  7. G. Anderson

    G. Anderson Active Member

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    That is a creative choice for sure! I am not sure it will be coherent with the rest of the writing though :)
     
  8. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    The blade tore a slice from shoulder down to elbow.

    For slang you might use terms like 'Stanley,' or 'shank.'

    Ripped, cut, jagged...I'll think on...
     
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  9. G. Anderson

    G. Anderson Active Member

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    Thanks for the input and many suggestions and inspiration! I'll try a few different ones and see which one feels most natural when I read it out loud.
     
  10. Skye Walker

    Skye Walker Banned

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    Dunno if you still need help with this, but 'slash' or 'gash', or 'laceration' or something along those lines? :)
     
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  11. G. Anderson

    G. Anderson Active Member

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    Thanks, those words I have never heard of before :)
     
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  12. Skye Walker

    Skye Walker Banned

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    You're welcome! Also, http://www.thesaurus.com/ is a great resource to check out if you haven't already. :D
     
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  13. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

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    Was going to say "gash" also. "Slice" works, 'sever' would be the action of cutting something from a whole.

    Sometimes describing things vaguely leaves a pretty cool impression, too. If, for example, you say the knife wound left a "hole" in the body, you get a sort of gory picture of what it might look like.
     
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  14. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    I think the word you're looking for is nicked.
     
  15. WNP

    WNP Member

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    If you're going to use the word gash, just be careful what context you use it in, as it can also be used as a slang reference to a woman's vagina.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  16. G. Anderson

    G. Anderson Active Member

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    Why did I never hear any of these slang words? I'm educated in Britain with English family :D Am I just too innocent for this?
     
  17. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    "laceration" would be what I would use and probably what a doctor would use.
     
  18. Shbooblie

    Shbooblie Senior Member

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    I would go something along the lines of 'slash' or 'gash' or 'cut' as others have suggested. Don't use laceration, it sounds good, but lacerations typically result from blunt force trauma rather than stabbing injuries so wouldn't be accurate.:geek:
     
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  19. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    A knife wound inflicted during gang violence in british slang would be known as a stripe - this is particularly true where it is inflicted with a double stan (that is a knife fitted with two stanley knife blades separated by a blob of bluetack - the idea being to make a wound that is impossible to stitch cleanly without leaving a scar

    that said this is a lot more than a scratch - its more like a slash or a gash (note that a slash is also slang for taking a piss so watch your context there)
     
  20. Denegroth

    Denegroth Banned

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    I think there's no danger of being mistaken for using slang. If you've used slang all along, then readers will tend to err on the side of slang if they find an odd usage that could be slang. If you've attended Hemingway's "Just Say It" school of writing, then just say it; cut. A slash is deeper and longer than a cut. It would require stitches. A gash is similar to a slash. Laceration would infer a not very clean injury, so not necessarily a knife blade, unless perhaps the knife was serrated. A rift is more of a geographical, or geological term. This, all of course if you're not using slang. If you are using slang, and you don't know the slang for the various ways someone can be knifed, maybe you should rethink using slang. I somehow get the impression you aren't using it.

    (It's nice to learn our cousins across the pond are getting so inventive in using blades for fun and mayhem.)
     
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  21. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    I wouldn't use laceration. It sounds clinical, so unless it comes up in the POV or dialogue of a medical professional, "laceration" probably wouldn't fit.

    For something like a scratch but a bit more significant, I'd use "cut". For a worse wound, "slash" or "gash".
     
  22. Viridian

    Viridian Member Supporter

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    Reading your posts on this thread I am thinking 'cut' is more what you are looking for. Slash is good but infers a much bigger 'cut' than I think you are referring to :)
     
  23. Jay Lafountain

    Jay Lafountain New Member

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    I think, as the title says, "wound" or "shallow wound" could work. I'd honestly go with "shallow wound", for it seems to describe well what you need. Also, you could describe the pain the character was feeling like, "agony shot through my ___ like fire", or something similar.

    Just some ideas :D
     
  24. G. Anderson

    G. Anderson Active Member

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    Thanks for your reply, and I don't tend to use slang a lot. :)
     
  25. G. Anderson

    G. Anderson Active Member

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    Wow, thank you all for your feedback and ideas! I think I will go with either wound or cut, as a simple term is more fitting with the rest of the tone.

    But if I decide to write a book on knife crime one day I will sure have a lot of ideas :)
     
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