Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
You are correct: there are Yataghans with blades of different length and configurations( curved, straight, recurved) and different handles. There was also a term yataghan bichaq, a short bladed, usually eared one.
The Ottomans were never as pedantic as the Japanese, with their “ katana- wakizashi-tanto” that differed only according to the length of the blade. And, to be even more anal-retentive, they had ko-wakizashi and o-wakizashi for the in-between cases.
The variability of Yataghans was bewildering, and because of that ( pure IMHO) we define a yataghan as such strictly on the basis of general gestalt: at least one of the parts is a typical one. Highly subjective, but dictated by the reality.
There are some sources that claim definition of Yataghans that served as swords ( kilij) to have their blade lengths only around and above 70 cm. The rest were allegedly yataghan bichaqs.
How about ko-yataghan kilij and o- yataghan bichaq. :-)