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definition of the word yataghan

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Turkish yatağan,[1] from Yatağan, the name of a town in southwest Turkey where such swords were originally produced, and from Yatağan Baba, the cognomen of a swordsmith who conquered the town.



yataghan (plural yataghans)

  1. A type of sword used in Muslim countries from the mid-16th to late 19th centuries.
    • 1855, Sir Richard Burton, Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah, Dover 1964, p. 22:
      The angry-faced official communicated the intelligence to a large group of Anadolian, Caramanian, Bosniac, and Roumelian Turks,— sturdy, undersized, broad-shouldered, bare-legged, splay-footed, horny-fisted, dark-browed, honest-looking mountaineers, who were lounging about with long pistols and yataghans stuck in their broad sashes [...].
    • 1942, Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, Canongate 2006, p. 1041:
      A Montenegrin perceived it and ran immediately to him and drew his yataghan, saying, “You are very brave, and must wish that I should cut off your head rather than that you should fall into the hands of the enemy.”

  1. ^ "yataghan." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary Merriam-Webster. 2008.
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