What Does SHIV Mean?

The word SHIV means a "knife or blade" (often an improvised one). Opinion is divided over the origin of the word. One theory is that SHIV is a derivation of the 17th-Century Romany word "chiv" which meant blade. Another competing theory suggests that SHIV is a modern acronym meaning "Self-Honed Implement of Violence." In this context, a SHIV is usually a homemade stabbing device made from household objects such as toothbrushes or spoons. This improvised style of weapon is commonplace in the prison system.

Summary of Key Points

"Improvised knife" is the most common definition for SHIV on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Improvised knife
Type:Slang Word (Jargon)
4: Difficult to guess
Typical Users:
Adults and Teenagers

Image for SHIV

When I write SHIV, I mean this:

meaning of SHIV
The image shows an improvised weapon known as a SHIV.


Examples of SHIV in Sentences

Here are examples of SHIV being used in a sentence:
  • "In prison everyone carries a SHIV for self-protection. If you are not tooled up you become a victim."

An Academic Look at SHIV

SHIV is a noun. If it derives from "Self-Honed Implement of Violence," then it is also an acronym (i.e., an abbreviation spoken like a word). Acronyms differ from initialism abbreviations, which are pronounced using their individual letters.

Example of SHIV Used in a Text


See Also

HAWK (knife) SHANK (improvised knife) OX (sharp blade) CCW (carrying a concealed weapon) SKENG (weapon) CHIB (stab)