by Ed Higgins
1. A standard kitchen tool consisting of a sharp blade attached to a handle intended for cutting, peeling, chopping, slicing, and dicing.
2. Used primarily for food preparation (see also BUTCHERING; BACKSTABBING; JACK THE RIPPER; DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS).
3. Operated by hand, although some powered by electricity. Dangerous when employed inattentively.
4. May be lubricated by food juices, blood, or tears — as in onion preparation.
5. Should not be operated under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or while experiencing severe anger.
6. The most common weapon in domestic violence. A three-to-one ratio of kitchen knife murders over guns.
7. Slang: To betray or attempt to defeat by underhanded means. You backstabbed me again with a fucking butcher knife to my own mother, for Christ's sake!
8. The domestic utensil blamed in a fatal stabbing after a California couple's New Year's Eve party argument over tacos.
9. A good set of kitchen knives can make any food preparation job easier, but personal safety must always be a user's main concern.
10. Keeping kitchen knives sharp is essential. If a knife is blunt you have to force it and there is a real danger of accidental cuts or severe injury.
Related articles: KITCHEN HEALTH & SAFETY; CUT WOUNDS; KNIFE WOUND SUTURE MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES; METAPHORICAL CUTS; KNIFE SHARPENING TRICKS; HOW TO ARGUE WITH YOUR SPOUSE OR PARTNER CONSTRUCTIVELY; REMAINS OF “BOG MAN” FOUND WITH SHARPENING STONES WORN AS PENDANT.
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I ran across a flash fiction piece by Matt Bell titled "CHAINSAW (n.)" that I found intriguing for both its wry humor and noir aspects as well as the faux-dictionary entry form. I liked it so much I wanted to see if I could riff off his form and humor with something of my own. My piece is in the current online issue of Dark Sky: . Bell's piece is archived on elimae at if you'd like to compare the two.