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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These mysterious weapons were already obsolete when the first ethnographers encountered them.


This peculiar sword was used by the Garo people of Assam for fighting, clearing the jungle, and animal…


Mentioning the son of a Maharajah and a year corresponding to 1887 A.D.


An enigmatic type of axe, this one probably from tribal north India.


Once belonging to William Fraser (1784-1835), a British civil servant.


An interesting South Indian style katar with an imported European blade.