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Language: Derived from Persian
Source: Various old dictionaries


Pesh-kabz is the name of a type of dagger that was used in old Persia, Afghanistan, and parts of north India. The name literally means "grab up front" and refers to how it was worn, through the sash in front of the body.

I am not aware of a clear historical definition of the type, but collectors usually define it by having a blade with a strong T-shaped cross-section. It could be that "in the culture", any dagger worn in that specific way may have been called a pesh-kabz regardless of blade geometry.



A typical example of an Afghan pesh-kabz.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2021.


Origin & related terms

The word is an alternative spelling of the Persian pesh-qabẓ (پیش قبض) or pesh-qabẓa (پیش قبضه); "a dagger worn in front".1

Pes̱ẖ ḳabẓaʿh  (پیش قبضه) appears in an 1860 Pashto-English dictionary as "a type of dagger".2

In Hindi, the Persian loan word is written pesh qabz (पेश क़ब्ज़).


1. Francis Joseph Steingrass; A comprehensive Persian-English dictionary. Page 267.
2. Henry George Raverty; Dictionary of the Puk'hto, Pus'hto, or language of the Afgháns, 1860.


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