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Skean Dhu

This is a picture of the traditional knife used by the Scots during close combat in times of battle. Whilst today it has a mainly ceremonial duty (we are civilised after all) and is common at weddings when many Scots men wear a kilt for the first time,it has an interesting history.
There are lots of variations on the spelling of the name, and all are considered valid. The most common spellings:

Sgian Dubh
Skhian Dubh
Skene Dhu
Skene Du
Skean Dhu
Skein Dubh

"No matter how you spell it, it's pronounced "skeen doo". In Gaelic, "Sgian" means "knife", and "Dubh" means "black". The handles of the knives are traditionally made from bog oak, which is a dark black hardwood. Black has a dual meaning for these knives; it refers to the handle wood, and also their dark, secretive side. These knives were originally intended to be hidden in the owner's clothing, to be used when taken by surprise as a last means of defense..... "

This description and brief history is taken (with kind permission) from
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skean dhu ceremonial knife scotland picture photograph

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