Originally Posted by Oliver Pinchot
The term "Salawar" (also rendered salwar and shalvar,) was applied to these weapons because of its similarity to a type of breeches common in N. India, which are quite broad at the waist and taper continuously to the ankle. The analogy with the form of the blade is obvious.
"Khyber knife" was coined by the British, for the first place they encountered Afghans armed with it.
"Karakulak" refers specifically to a short, heavy utility knife of yataghan form carried primarily by stock breeders in Anatolia. Karakulak means "black ear," as the grips were virtually always carved of dark horn.
This is outstanding information!!!
Perfect insight into the linguistic origins of some of these terms which became colloquialisms for certain weapons, first locally then expanding into broader use as 'collectors terms'.
It is most interesting that the use of 'silawar' (sic) has clearly been aligned comparatively with an item of clothing, which has been suggested in another case for the term 'nimcha' which may have its origin in Baluch colloquial language. Apparantly similar alignment for 'short' may have referred to the short waist jackets worn by Baluch men, as has been suggested by Ibrahim in the discussions on these swords now running.
Though some may regard these interesting details as trivialities, they add often profound dimension in following the diffusion and development of weapon forms and the cultures that used them.