The Gift of a Knife Is No Curse

The Gift of a Knife Is No Curse

Posted by Clayton on Jan 6th 2015

Knives are one of the oldest and most historically significant weapons ever made. Being around for so long, there have been many myths that have come up over the years. In fact, there are probably as many myths as there are kinds of knives in the world. While many of these myths probably originated around a campfire hundreds of years ago, some of the most outlandish of them are still believed today.

Since it’s the season of giving, we’ll focus on the myth that says giving someone a knife as a present is bad luck. This legend may sound crazy to you, but many people believe it, and, as a result, never give the knife lovers in their lives the gift they truly want. To debunk this outlandish work of fiction, we’ll delve into how the myth got started and how to defeat it once and for all.

The Origin of the Myth

The actual origin of this myth may be too old to trace, but the original logic of it is simple. In some cultures, giving someone a knife as a present symbolized the severing of a friendship. Being the cutting instrument that it is, the knife was a very logical symbol of a relationship ending. This symbolism has made it particularly poor taste to give a knife as a present anytime, particularly for big events like weddings. Some cultures believe that a knife, if given as a gift, will actually cut the ties that hold a friendship together.

How to Fight the Myth

Although this myth has no merit, some people believe in the old adage “better safe than sorry,” and they want to avert even the remotest possibility of bad luck. So, if you’re one of those people who avoids opening an umbrella indoors, putting your shoes on your bed, or even the number 13, there are ways to combat this knife superstition.

To avoid any ill consequences from giving someone a knife, tape a penny to the outside of the box in which you put the knife. This allows whoever receives the gift to “pay” for their own gift, thereby rendering the superstition null. Even if you’re not superstitious, this is just a fun way to give a knife as a gift and share this myth with other people.

The Other Side of the Myth: Are Knives Actually Good Luck?

While the myth about knives being bad luck is widely believed in some cultures, other cultures believe that knives are actually some kind of good luck charm.

In the United States, parents give their children knives as presents to symbolize their child’s rite of passage into adulthood. In Finland, the gift of a small Finnish belt knife, known as a puukko, is looked upon as an honor. A puukko is often given to young boy scouts and girl scouts to acknowledgement an accomplishment.

There are several other myths in other cultures about a knife’s magical powers. In some cultures, a knife under an expecting mother’s bed is believed to ease the pain during childbirth. In others, a knife stuck in the headboard of a baby’s bed is believed to protect the baby. Knives are even thought to be a great weapon to fight against fairies and curses, in some cultures.

Other Myths

To further prove the insanity of this knife-giving myth, let’s discuss a few other gift-giving myths:

  • Giving someone a pair of shoes for Christmas will make them walk away from their relationship with you.
  • If you put some cash into a purse or wallet when you give them to someone as a present, it ensures that said purse or wallet will never run out of money.
  • In China, giving as a clock as a gift is frowned upon because the Chinese word for “clock” sounds similar to the Chinese word for “death.”


Now that the gift-giving season is upon us, it is the perfect time to state that it is indeed okay to give a knife as a present. There is nothing scientific about the myths regarding giving knives as gifts, so there is no reason to avoid giving a gift that will light up the faces of the knife enthusiasts in your life. If you still feel uneasy about giving someone a knife, slap a penny on the package to give yourself some peace of mind.