Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Shiv
First attested 1915. From chive, chieve, chife, chiv (“knife”), from Romani chive, chiv, chivvomengro (“knife, dagger, blade”).
shiv (plural shivs)
- A knife, especially a makeshift one fashioned from something not normally used as a weapon (like a plastic spoon or a toothbrush).
- Synonym: (slang) shank
- 1971, Abbie Hoffman, “Introduction”, in Steal This Book, Pirate Editions / Grove Press:
- It's perhaps fitting that I write this introduction in jail—that graduate school of survival. Here you learn how to use toothpaste as glue, fashion a shiv out of a spoon and build intricate communication networks.
- A particular woody by-product of processing flax or hemp.
shiv (third-person singular simple present shivs, present participle shivving, simple past and past participle shivved)
- To stab someone with a shiv.
- (by extension) To stab someone with anything not normally used as a stabbing weapon.
- ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “shiv”, in Online Etymology Dictionary, retrieved 6 July 2017: “"a razor," 1915, variant of chive, thieves' cant word for "knife" (1670s), of unknown origin.”.
- ^ “shiv”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: “Alteration of chiv, of unknown origin. First known use: 1915”
- ^ “shiv”, in Collins English Dictionary, accessed 6 July 2017; from Michael Agnes, editor, Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th edition, Cleveland, Oh.: Wiley, 2010, →ISBN: “Word origin of 'shiv': earlier chiv, prob. < Romany chiv, blade”.
- ^ “shiv”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022. "Probably from Romany chiv ‘blade’."