Thursday, April 12, 2012

A to Z Challenge: K - Katana

click to enlarge
Katana

This is one of those words that's not going to have any synonyms, or much of an etymology, because it's actually a word from a foreign language, that has been used commonly enough in English, it's been adopted. Like Ninja.

ka·ta·na [kəˈtänə] n. a curved, single-edged sword that is the longer of a pair worn by the Japanese samurai

Synonyms: there are no direct synonyms of katana, but some related words are wakizashi, tanto, okatana, and nodachi

Etymology: 1610s, from Japanese.

See? Not much of an etymology, eh? Still, it's an awesome word, and history's greatest sword.

55 comments:

Anna said...

You search far and wide for your words! I'm lazy and take simple ones like 'kitten'!
Best wishes,
Anna
Anna's A-Z, the letter K

Creepy Query Girl said...

Katana! I like this word. It rolls of the tongue and sounds like a title that could be used for anything - like a music group, or a theatrical play.

Em-Musing said...

I love blogs like this where I learn something. You're awesome.

Laurita said...

Well this is handy. My son has one of these (a wooden one used for sparring) and when he goes to class I always say "Don't forget your sword...thingy." Now I know what to call it. You've saved the day again. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Anna's right. You do pick unique words.

maine character said...

Laurita - the wooden practice sword is called a bokken.

And Matt - I thought sure katana meant something, the way karate is a combination of kara and te, meaning "empty hand," but after a long search I discovered katana means "sword."

Some things are just meant to be simple, I guess.

farawayeyes said...

New tome and YES very awesome.

Traci Kenworth said...

Interesting...

Old Kitty said...

What about the Jedi's flashy ziiiing - ziiiing luminous swordy type sword!??! Surely up there amongst the greatest?!? Ahem.

Take care
x

Rick Daley said...

The first thing that popped into my head when I read katana was "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle"

Sara Hill said...

Writers never know when they might need the very word katana.

Anna said...

Thanks for visiting!
Anna

icedgurl said...

trekking your blog!!!

cheers!
..TREK..

elizabeth seckman said...

I knew that...unbelievable? No. I live in a house of comic book reading/ weapon obsessed guys.

Joshua said...

Ahh, yes. My secondary weapon of choice in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

Clarissa Draper said...

My grandfather, who lived in Japan, had one of these. He would swing it around like a madman when he was drunk.

Danielle B. said...

I have one of my protagonists armed with a Katana. What a great weapon.

L.G.Smith said...

All badass heros carry a katana. :)

Tasha Seegmiller said...

Sometimes, when I dream about my fantastic writing space that doesn't exist yet, I want there to be this sword in there, even though I know nothing about sword fighting or martial arts outside of what Jet Li and Jackie Chan have done on screen.

Nate Wilson said...

Like the English language, I also tried to adopt Ninja as one of my own. Yeah... it didn't end well.

Eh, it's okay. You know what they say: "What doesn't kill you makes you hideously disfigured."

Tonja said...

About this time next year there's going to be a bunch of books released with katana in the title -
Katana of Doom (that's mine) - with a mention of you and your K-post on the acknowledgments page.

Lydia Kang said...

The word is so beautiful and it's so feminine too. Great post! I really think the A-Z posts this year are so imaginative, yours included.

Nancy Thompson said...

And here I thought it was a motorcycle model. Actually, my husband has 2 of these, along with an assortment of Ninja throwing stars & something nasty that looks like bear claws, and I don't mean the danish. Great word, Matthew!

Laura Eno said...

Any kind of sword is awesome!

Laura
A to Z of Immortals, Myths & Legends

D.G. Hudson said...

There's something about swords that I like, the grace with which they can be used, and their history.

I think it all started with either Sho-gun (with my fave Japanese actor - Toshiro Mifune) or John Belushi's Samurai role on SNL.

Interesting post, Matt!

Escape Artist said...

You're doing so well coming up with some good words.
Is that another new photo?
Open your eyes. C'mon. Open them! I can still see you!

Sarah Ahiers said...

It really is history's greatest sword

Donna K. Weaver said...

My youngest son is fascinated with these. He would do odd jobs so he could buy practice ones for he and his friends to play with.

Josin L. McQuein said...

Nope. I'm sorry. The correct definition is "The best cat who ever walked the face of the earth."

Katana was a blue-eyed Tonkinese Manx, who could hit a vein in one shot with the precision of a master swordsman, which she proved as soon as I brought her home. Therefore, she practically named herself.

;-)

Youmna09 said...

I heard this word for the first time
this post was quite informative
Great post :)

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

You forgot to mention that the 31st commenter receives a katana for free purchased by Matthew MacNish.

Brinda said...

The word alone makes me see Kill Bill in my mind.

Christina Lee said...

I DO like how it rolls off the tongue!

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Katana - the sword to end all swords.

Cassie Mae said...

Just had a convo about this weapon and the use it would be in the zombie apocalypse. Me likey the crossbow even though it totally sucks to load.

Whoops, Joshua already beat me in the comment section about this... forget my originality, lol.

Dawn Malone said...

'Katana' would make a cool girl's name. Of course anyone who knew their swords would think twice about messing with her! Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Elise Fallson said...

Katana, check.
Tanto, check.
(;

Konstanz Silverbow said...

I love, love, love my brother in law's Katana! Awesome post!
(Sorry I haven't stopped by until now)

Konstanz Silverbow
nothoughts2small.blogspot.com
A to Z C-host
www.a-to-zchallenge.com

Jay Noel said...

The katana plays a very important part in my book. Ever hold a real one? It's crazy light.

Jess said...

Awesome choice! I got to hold one of these bad boys at a writing conference last year~ they had a historical weaponry session that was very cool. I don't even write anything that uses historical weapons, but I had to attend the class.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I love swords (hubby's got two and a lightsaber) - this one's great, and I've never heard the name before.

Carrie Butler said...

Would it be weird to admit I own three things mentioned in this post? :) Great work, Matthew!

A Quiet Corner said...

My son still has his two swords and a few other Ninja weapons from back in the day!...:)JP

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

For some odd reason, your posts are not appearing in my Google Reader anymore! Crap.

The Golden Eagle said...

It must be one formidable weapon!

ediFanoB said...

Katana also made its way to the German language.

When I hear or read Katana autmatically bandanna pops up in my mind.

FeFiFo said...

Nice! Ninjas, got to love words that evoke images of ninjas. :)

FeFiFo said...

Nice to find you on A-Z, by the way.

DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

Of course I couldn't concentrate on your post Matthew as I was trying to find a synonym - like the old 'orange' or 'silver'...But no, I couldn't.

Denise

Slamdunk said...

Did not know that one Matthew. Perhaps it will better allow me to blend the next time I am in a crowd of martial arts enthusiasts.

Heather Murphy said...

This is a cool word. I remember there was a katana cell phone out a few years ago. It was just fun to say

Andrew Leon said...

But the real test is whether it has a rhyming word.

Lynn said...

Wow - great K word! :)

Bryan Russell said...

Now I want to rewatch the sword scenes in Kill Bill.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Matthew ... that's great to know .. and if Heather's saying it's been used as 'name' for something .. I guess we'll see it cropping up more often.

And for Andrew - manyana .. another foreign word!

Cheers Hilary