The following list is an overview of Chinese saber terminology as found in two 18th century Chinese dictionaries. The saber shown in the picture is of classical angular style or fangshi, the common type of saber mountings used in the period these dictionaries were written.
|7 / 8||Blade / edge||刀刃||dāo rèn|
|9||Back of blade||刀背||dāo bèi|
|12||Scabbard mouthpiece||刀鞘把束||dāoqiào bàshù|
|13||Suspension bands||刀鞘中束||dāoqiào zhōngshù|
|14||Suspension bar||刀束樑 / 鞘上雙眼束||dāo shù liáng / qiàoshàng shuāngyǎn shù|
|15||Scabbard endpiece||刀鞘庇束||dāoqiào bìshù|
|Saber tang||釘刀根鐵||dīngdāo gēntiě|
|Saber scabbard fittings||刀鞘束||dāo qiào shù|
|Saber lanyard||腰刀繫子||yāodāo xìzi|
|Saber edge is collapsed||刀刃崩||dāo rèn bēng|
|Saber edge has rolled up||刀刃卷||dāo rèn juǎn|
|Saber surface is rusty||刀上鏥||dāo shàng xiù|
|Saber surface is patterned||刀上斑||dāo shàng bān|
|To chop with a saber||刀砍||dāo kǎn|
|Strike with back of saber||刀背砍||dāo bèi kǎn|
|To carry a saber||帶刀||dài dāo|
|To pull the saber||拔刀||bá dāo|
|To insert the saber||挿刀||chā/zhǎ dāo|
|To shed the scabbard*||脫鞘||tuō qiào|
*Chinese sabers were suspended from the belt by means of a belt-hook so the scabbard could be easily cast aside when the saber was drawn. This practice of "shedding the scabbard" is probably the reason why all saber forms in Chinese martial arts start with the saber already out of the scabbard.
Terms are taken from the:
同文廣彚全書 (Tongwen Guanghui Quanshu) or "Enlarged and complete dictionary"
Qing imperial dictionary in Chinese and Manchu of 1704, each entry double checked and approved by the Kangxi emperor.
五體清文鑑 (Wuti Qingwen Jian) "Five languages compendium"
A Qing imperial dictionary in Manchu, Mongolian, Uighur, Tibetan and Chinese of 1766. Published under the Qianlong emperor.
More about Chinese sabers: