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Bark is the abrupt, harsh, explosive cry of a dog.

Clatter is the sound made by two or more hard objects hitting each other.

Splash is the sound of something falling into a liquid, normally water.

What is the name of the sound made by a knife? And more in particular, is there a different name for the sound of a knife slashing through the air and the sound made by a knife hitting flesh?

Additional example:

Blindfolded, I could only hear noises: the distant barking of a dog, the shouting of a terrified man, the [word] of a knife being waved into the air.

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    Eager to know myself. Waiting for an answer Aug 9, 2016 at 6:51
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    Snikt is established in a very similar context. I'm thinking of the hitting flesh part of the question.
    – Phil Sweet
    Aug 9, 2016 at 22:32
  • I know these are words, but... Aren't they just onomatopoeias that caught on? Of that is indeed the case, you can use whatever onomatopoeia you want. Aug 10, 2016 at 17:18
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    the whooshing of a knife being waved into the air Jun 5, 2018 at 12:22
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    knives through the air do not make an audible sound.....and knives don't "hit" flesh unless thrown.
    – Lambie
    Mar 4, 2021 at 17:52

4 Answers 4

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There can't be a single word to describe so many different noises, or if there was such a word it wouldn't be very useful.

I suggest the swish of a knife through the air. Hitting a metal object (parried by another blade, or hitting armour or a shield) would be better served by clang. If a knife struck a living body, the dominant noise would be the cry of pain; chopping at a dead body would be more of a thud or thwack (correct me if I'm wrong, I haven't tried this personally but it's just meat).

Also I wouldn't say "waved into the air"; "waved through the air" or just about "in the air" would be better. "Into" would go more with "thrown" but then you wouldn't want to be there when it landed.

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As you said slash might be used when the knife swings through air. Two knives scratch against each other. So scratch can be used in the latter scenario.

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Tssik. If the knife is being thrown into a metal object. Not through. if you're throwing the knife through a metal object it would be more of a Ssoo-ik.

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    May 19 at 18:20
-4

If you want a knife sound based on slicing a throat, you could use:

  1. 'Slice!'

  2. 'Slit!'

  3. 'Crrrr!' (If your writing is informal, only)

  4. 'Tss!'

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