Sound of a sword hacking into a wooden table: ideas?

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E G Logan

Full Member
Nov 11, 2018
Liguria, Italy
This would be a full-size 1500s Italian sword, high quality (costly) steel blade, presumably very sharp, brought down on a (small) wooden table with great force, so hard that it sticks right in. On the way, it also passes through the edge of someone's hand.

I've been striding out all the fight moves, leaping to my feet and pushing a table, as if to overturn it. (But not. I only have one kitchen table.) Short of whacking the tabletop with the carving knife, which is not fine Toledo steel but IKEA inox, and rather on the blunt side, I've got no ideas.

Any sword-fighting buffs out there??
Given the force, imagine it sounding similar to an axeman/woodcutter laying into a tree trunk. And probably a lot of screaming from the person whose hand you've partially removed.
This is from the onomatopoeia part of my thesaurus (closest I could find):

whack bash, bang, beat, belt, clobber, deck, drub, knock, slam, smack, smash, thump, wallop, bonk, crack, hammer, flog, pelt, pound, pummel, slug, bat, biff, rap

Hart, Linda. Thesaurus of the Senses. UNKNOWN. Kindle Edition.

I didn't think they sounded quite right, so I looked here:

Maybe thwack or clap?
It is tricky to verbalise the sound but I am not sure it is needed. The predominant sound would be the scream from the person with half a hand. You could talk slice and bite. The sword sliced through the hand then bit into the table as the scream drowned out ........
Blades do get stuck in things...just think what happens chopping wood with a hatchet or an axe. It also happens with bodies. An uncle, who'd fought as an infantryman in WW2 told me some grisly realities of close combat, including how a bayonet would get stuck by suction in flesh, meaning firing the rifle was the only way to free the blade to defend himself from approaching adversaries.

One of the reasons that swordsman carried a dagger in their weak hand was to defend themselves while freeing their blade.

This guy knows his stuff about weaponry and fighting: Mike Loades - Director Author Presenter Military Historian Horse Archer
We have an author coming on the show later this month...I think Samurai swords are his thing.

I saw a programme on the box a few months ago, BBC 4, a series, Handmade In Japan, about a family of samurai sword makers.

Someone's put it up on You Tube

To answer everyone's unspoken question: why is this woman writing about this when it's obvious she knows next to nothing about it?

Originally, these events were retold, second hand. The narrator had the excuse of not wanting to frighten/upset his listener (his true love), hence gave few details. But it's been suggested I need to dramatise these historical bits and make more of them. Fortunately this is the only fight...

Thank you all very much again -- it's go to know Litopians relish a good scrap
My input is hardly needed here, but for the record, 'thunk' would be my vote. I haven't wielded a sword, but I've done a whole lot of machete work, and since a machete is essentially a cheap sword for chopping wood, vegetation, and such, I assume the sound of sword and machete into wood would be similar. It's a really satisfying thunk, when it sticks (I thunk my machete into a fence post when I'm not using it, so it doesn't get lost on the ground)
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