The Highland dirk was a weapon and general purpose implement. In battle it was wielded in the left hand, the blade protruding from behind the targe shield, a broadsword was used in the right hand.
Highland dirks of the 17th and 18th centuries were often made from cut down sword blades, fine examples of these highland weapons can be found in many museums throughout Scotland, with particularly fine collections based at Marischal museum in Aberdeen and at the national museums Scotland in Edinburgh.
The Highland dirk is recorded several times in Scottish historical records. An epitaph read at the burial of James Beag Stewart of Ardvorlich relates to the murder of his friend, John Graham, Lord Kinpont, at Stewart's hand in 1644.
Now death hath made the sturdie gyant bow. For all the gloome and frownings of his brow. Who in Graem's bosom made a secret lurk. By the excitation of a highland durk. I doubt if Aeacus and Minos grant The state remission to be relevant. Bad actions and the augur of his name. Must be a signe that darknes is his doom. For being interr'd a deadly omen there. A bird of darknes cross'd his sepulcre'.