Eggcorn Forum

Discussions about eggcorns and related topics

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Registrations are currently closed because of a technical problem. Please send email to if you wish to register.

The forum administrator reserves the right to request users to plausibly demonstrate that they are real people with an interest in the topic of eggcorns. Otherwise they may be removed with no further justification. Likewise, accounts that have not been used for posting may be removed.

Thanks for your understanding.

Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2019-10-19 06:38:41

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1051

'sheaf knife' for 'sheath knife'

On a section of TV news the other night, some time was spent discussing ‘knife crime’ and among the assorted machetes and vampire knives mention was made of sheaf knives. I believe a sickle could fit into that category and no doubt there are or were agricultural tools to do with cutting and wrapping into sheaves. But a knife with a fixed blade needs a sheath to be stored or carried safely.
Substituting ‘f’ for ‘th’ (‘th’-fronting?) is a feature of some dialects and I do try to be a suitably detached and sympathetic observer of the many varieties of English but allowing that we contain multitudes, sometimes some of mine are unrepentant prescriptivists. A TV archeologist describing a temple of Foff in Feebs? Eros and Fanatos? ( the latter’s deaf of course.)

An hours work restoring a Whitby Sheaf Knife, made in Solingen, Germany. All I need to do now is find a Leather Sheaf for it!

Going back some 65 years , it was almost mandatory for a young chap in the Boy Scouts to wear, for all to see, a sheaf knife hanging from his belt.

FOUR men have been accused of causing an affray at a flat in Knaresborough Road, Harrogate, on October 20, involving a Samurai sword, a claw hammer and a sheaf knife.

Thankfully, he had the presence of mind to chop down a pole for a walking stick and had tied his sheaf knife to the end. He sensed the mountain lion and heard …

Offline

 

#2 2019-10-24 00:34:22

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2719

Re: 'sheaf knife' for 'sheath knife'

Good find.


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

Offline

 

#3 2019-10-29 17:51:30

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2351
Website

Re: 'sheaf knife' for 'sheath knife'

Fwiw:
I was negligent and left my jack-knife on my belt when setting out to fly to Mexico a few weeks ago. The airport authorities confiscated it, of course. In an effort to replace it when I had returned here to SC, I went to five different home-improvement or tool-type hardware stores. In every one of them, asking where I might find a jack-knife resulted in quite pure puzzlement―what on earth was a jack-knife? It eventually turned out that calling it a folding pocket-knife seemed to work best, but even then people weren’t sure what sort of thing I wanted, and most of the stores had either no such knives or only a very limited selection.
.
I asked a worker at one of the stores if he’d never heard the word, and he said it made him think of highway accidents, especially accidents involving trucks. I said that was because trailer trucks in an accident sometimes fold up like a jack-knife, and I could see the light come on for him.
.,
Anyhow, a culture changes around you, and the language with it. Not to know what a jack-knife is!? I ask of you.
.
Related to our discussion of jack on another thread, as well as to different varieties of knives. People are probably no more familiar with sheath knives than with jack-knives, these days.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2019-10-29 17:57:20)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

Offline

 

#4 2019-10-30 05:45:39

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1051

Re: 'sheaf knife' for 'sheath knife'

David, I find it curious that you make no mention of the term pen-knife, which seems to cover most types of folding pocket knife hereabouts. It was originally used to resharpen your pen, the quill from a goose that we all used to use before metal nibs became available. I am familiar with jack-knife as a particularly burly variant of pen knife, with a stout spike opposite the blade, used to remove stones from horses’ hooves we were told. As some were Army issue and WW1 that may make some sense as there were many more horses than vehicles and I can’t imagine any other use for the spike.
Returning, briefly, to sheath/sheaf confusion:

Going back some 65 years , it was almost mandatory for a young chap in the Boy Scouts to wear,for all to see, a sheaf knife hanging from his belt.

I don’t know whether there’s anything of substance in it, but I have a hazy recollection of Scout troops at Harvest festivals with all that sheaf imagery and assorted healthy abundance, which could provide a link of sorts.

Offline

 

#5 2019-10-30 11:04:17

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2351
Website

Re: 'sheaf knife' for 'sheath knife'

I am aware of the existence of pen-knife (or “pin-knife”: there are plenty of those around too) as a somewhat sissified word that furriners (Britishers and their elk ) are likely to use. The knife itself is likely to be a bit sissified too, not the strapping, manly sort of a tool that you could use to disembowel an attacking grisly bear, or to butcher an ilk, or other dear, that you have shot with your bone arrow.
.
Seriously, I think of a pen-knife as significantly lighter, probably with an almost razor-sharp edge (bludgeoning a feather shaft into submission is unlikely to produce a useful pen nib, I would think.) I am not even sure it would necessarily fold. A look on the internet turns up images of exact-o knives (non-folding, razor sharp) and other slim knives that could go sheathed in a purse (less safely a pocket) without folding. I am, of course, agreeing from the other end of the viewing gallery with you, Peter, that a jack-knife is “a particularly burly variant of pen knife”. I know nothing of a necessary spike , however, though some jack-knives have one, or an extra blade or other more or less useful tools that fold out from the handle.

Note also the existence of pearing knives

It was originally used to resharpen your pen, the quill from a goose that we all used to use before metal nibs became available.

I’m not in your league, Peter! I remember trying to fashion a usable pen out of a quill at some point, and giving up, concluding that I was better off using a metal-tipped fountain pen like God intended.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2019-10-30 11:11:40)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

Offline

 

#6 2019-10-30 11:09:12

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2351
Website

Re: 'sheaf knife' for 'sheath knife'

btw my son mentioned a jack-knife dive into a swimming pool, which I had forgotten about, and which of course relies on the same folding imagery of the truck jack-knifing in an accident. I reckon nowadays we have higher standards: we would use names from the Olympics or other high-falutin’ meets to describe different dives.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

Offline

 

#7 2019-11-02 21:03:54

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2351
Website

Re: 'sheaf knife' for 'sheath knife'

I don’t see where else in this thread we mention the converse sheath < sheaf , but there it is.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

Offline

 

#8 2019-11-03 12:55:25

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1051

Re: 'sheaf knife' for 'sheath knife'

Oh dear. Had I found it, and I did look, I’d certainly have placed this there. An administrator could do so no doubt, but we seem to have lost Pat during one of my many absences.

Last edited by Peter Forster (2019-11-11 10:30:15)

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
PunBB is © 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson
Individual posters retain the copyright to their posts.

RSS feeds: active topicsall new posts