At one point in my story, I am trying to describe a fight. The action is that one of the fighters firsts attacks with a sword, disarming his opponent and then hits him with his foot.

The sentence is -

The blade flashed, the strike removing the sword from his hands. Charlie followed that with a lash of his foot, tripping Adam off his.

The text in bold is the one which feels very weird to me when reading. Is it a valid usage ? If not, what can I do to make the action more sensible.

  • "lash" is not a word I would normally associate with a foot. Oct 16, 2019 at 20:22
  • The sentence structure seems ok.
    – Lawrence
    Oct 17, 2019 at 3:26
  • 1
    @Cascabel: I have read it in a lot of novels and it does appear to be a regular usage - google.com/…
    – user96551
    Oct 17, 2019 at 19:59
  • All of those usages seem to be the 2-word verb lash out with "foot". That is a little different. Oct 18, 2019 at 10:41
  • How is "lash" not a word?
    – Quidam
    Oct 19, 2019 at 3:46

1 Answer 1


When using the word "lash" to denote movement, it almost always refers to something pliable like a tail, whip, rain, etc. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lash

It seems like you would be better served by something closer to a definition of "hit" or "strike": https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/strike

However, the english language itself is pliable or fluid, so use that artistic license!

  • 1
    I support your answer but please take the time to include pertinent citations sourced at your links. Thank you. Oct 16, 2019 at 22:01
  • @SciGuy: strike is a great suggestion. I guess that could also work out
    – user96551
    Oct 17, 2019 at 20:01

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