Fancy words for wounds

Studying. Photo Courtesy of
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OK – if you want to know the lingo – then here it is, fancy words for wounds:

Incised Wound

This is caused by something sharp (like a knife) usually as it is a clean gut. You can get a lot of bleeding from these wounds as sharp objects can easily cut through blood vessels.

A paper cut (OUCH!) is an incised wound.

It’s easy to remember if you recall from watching those episodes of Mash, ER, Casualty, Holby City and Scrubs that surgeons make incisions with their scalpel.


This is caused by ripping or tearing forces and is what happened to me when I put my hand through a table saw once (yes, it hurt and I don’t recommend that you do this). Like my hand, they may not bleed as much and an incised wound – but the possibility for damage is high. There is also a high chance of infection with this wound.

To lacerate means: to tear or rip, to wound deeply or cause great pain according to the dictionary and cites “His bitter criticism lacerated my heart” as an example for all you would-be novelists out there.


A.K.A Graze. This is usually superficial (another fancy word for the novelist in you, meaning “near the surface” or “shallow”) – so the top layers of your skin are scrapped off – and can be very painful due to all the nerve endings exposed. We’ve all had one of these.


A.K.A Bruise, but that doesn’t sound good on the TV scripts, so the word Contusion is used instead. These are caused by blood leaking from ruptured capillaries beneath the skin into the tissues.

Puncture Wound

This is easy to understand – basically, it is the same as getting a puncture on your bike. Standing on a nail is a puncture wound. Or, having your brother throw a dart into your arm instead of the dart board is also a puncture wound, but let’s not go there – I still have nightmares seeing that dart hanging out of my arm!

Stab Wound

This isn’t good and should usually involve police and medical teams. These should be treated very seriously as they can go deep and cause all sorts of problems.

Gun Shot Wound

Er…see above, only call SWAT as well.

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