Cutting through the mystery: 14 knife superstitions you need to know

Posted by Steven Tuckey on

Considering the practicality of giving knives as a gift, it has become the go-to present no matter the occasion. However, if you are a god fearing mortal, there are a number of superstitions attached to knives that you need to know firsthand.

After all, offering a beautiful knife as a gift without knowing the severity of some of the superstitions that come with it can cause unintended consequences to your friendships or relationships. So to make sure that you’re well prepared before offering it as a present, make sure you read the 14 knife superstitions around the world below.

 

1. Why should you give coins after receiving a knife?

Whether you believe in the superstitions that say giving a knife causes bad luck or not, the best move is to include a coin in your gift. This has been the tradition for most European and American countries, although the specific country of origin remains obscure.

A knife as a gift symbolises the severing of the relationship, something that obviously isn't good for a wedding or birthday surprise. To avoid this, you include a coin with the gift, that the receiver hands back to the gift-giver. That way the gift is now a purchase, and Lady Luck is still on your side!

2. A knife with a black handle keeps nightmares away

A popular superstition in Greece is that if you place a knife with a black handle under your pillow, it will prevent nightmares that night. It’s believed to be true since Ancient Greece, renowned physician Hippocrates believed that dreams are signs of illnesses so if you have a nightmare, a knife can slice that away!

3. Crossed knives cause arguments 

One of the popular superstitions about knives in Ireland is that if you leave knives that cross each other on the counter top, it causes arguments. Another common understanding of this superstition is that an argument will ensue if you leave crossed knives on the counter.

4. Sleeping with a knife under your pillow scares evil spirits

Since a knife is a powerful weapon, a common superstition in China is that if you sleep with knives under your pillow then you can scare away evil spirits. Considering the large spiritual belief within the country, many people have heard and believed this superstition to be true.

If I knew someone that sleeps with a knife under their pillow I would be scared too.

5. Eating using a knife will make you bark like a angry dog

Most people within Russia believe that if you eat using a knife specifically, it will cause you to become as wildly angry as a dog so people generally avoid doing this (although it does look cool). 

6. A steel knife protects you from fairies and curses

In European countries like Ireland where folklore about fairies is popular, it’s said that keeping a steel knife with you can protect you from things like curses and from fairies.

7. Crossing your knife and fork insults the cross

Common within countries with large Catholic influence is the superstition that if you cross a knife and a fork together then you’re insulting the cross. For example, in Italy, this kind of thing is not done to ensure that no offense is given to the religion.

8. Pregnant women should avoid using knives to prevent their baby having cleft organs

A common superstition all around the world for those who are pregnant is to avoid using knives to cut anything since it’s believed that it will cause the unborn baby to have a cleft organ. This superstition is especially popular within India.

It's also a fantastic way to make sure the father is kept busy while the mother is busy.

9. You can become cruel if you lick food off a knife

Another superstition popular in Russia is where if you lick food off a knife, you will become a cruel person. This superstition might have come to fruition due to how it looks when people lick anything off a knife.

Also, can be a clear sign you are the villain in a Wild West movie.

10. You’ll have bad luck if you sharpen any blade after sunset

Another common superstition around the world, with no specific point of origin, is that if you sharpen knives and blades after the sun sets, then it can bring you bad luck. While this belief has been around for a long time, a lot of people believe this came even before electricity was invented. This means it simply makes logical sense that sharpening blades when it’s already dark can be bad luck.

Sharpening by candlelight doesn't sound fun either.

11. Knives are buried with the dead so the dead won’t be defenseless

One of the most prolific items found in burial rites in Anglo-Saxon tribes are knives. They do this to ensure that the dead are buried with a weapon so they can freely go to the next world armed and not defenseless. 

12. Angels will run from you if you play with knives

A common superstition from Romania is that if you play with knives, then angels will run away from you. Generally, they believe that your guardian angel who protects you from everything will escape if you play with a knife, so most people don’t do it to ensure their guardian angel stays put.

13. Dropping a knife signifies a man will visit and change your luck for good or bad

When you drop a knife, on the floor or on any surface, it can signify three things: a man will visit you soon, it can change your luck for the better, or it can change it for the worse. The superstition of a man visiting due to dropping a knife has no known origin since it’s commonly known around the world, similar to a knife causing bad luck due to the inherent symbolism of a knife. On the other hand, some cultures around the world believe that if you drop a knife, good luck will come from the direction that a knife is leaning.

14. Knives as wedding gift can cause a chaotic marriage

According to superstitions around the world, specifically within European countries, if you give a knife as a wedding gift, it can cause a chaotic marriage. In this case, instead of giving the couple an item that signifies you bless their wedding, you’re warning them that their marriage won’t be anything but a mess.

A great way to avoid this superstition is by placing a coin in the gift box, thus changing it from a gift, to a purchase.

To avoid these and many more superstitions, take heed of our warnings and sleep with a knife under your pillow (just kidding). 

We make sure each knife that leaves our shop has been treated with the utmost sensitivity towards superstitions, we don't like to take any chances.

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