Is it bad luck to give a knife as a wedding gift?
Wedding gifts are notoriously tricky. Emotions are high when it comes to the couples “special day” and rightly so, they have expectations that it’ll be a grand experience, wholly positive, and something wonderful they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. So, suffice to say, you don’t want to be the silly one who makes a faux pas with an unlucky gift.
And it’s an easy trap to fall into. After all, traditionally speaking, a wedding means a newly joined household. Therefore, lots of wedding gifts are the practical sort that a new household might need—appliances, flatware, dishes, crockpots… you get the idea. So, why not a beautiful (and expensive) all purpose Japanese knife, one of those santoku knives sounds good, right? Wrong!
And that’s what we’ll be talking about in today’s article. Hopefully we can help you avoid giving a knife and a hefty dose of bad luck. Also, hey, newlyweds—you guys can keep reading, too. Because, for you, we’ll discuss what to do if you received a knife or two as gifts.
Why Is It Bad Luck To Give A Knife As A Wedding Gift?
Superstitiously speaking, knives are pretty much always an unlucky gift. But, it’s especially so when it comes to a wedding. That’s not because the bride might stab the groom if he sleeps through his alarm. It’s actually because of what knives represent.
According to a long-held belief, a cutting utensil—a knife is an example of such a thing—is not a good gift. It is believed the ability to cause damage, to cut, and to kill is inherently unlucky. This isn’t only something we believe in the English-speaking world, either. In fact, a similar belief is held in both Latin America and China. In those parts of the world, to give a knife as a gift is a coded way to say that your friendship with that person is over—i.e. the bond has been cut. Going back to our own tradition, we also see a knife as a symbol of a broken relationship.
So, there you have it, to give the gift of a knife at a wedding could be misconstrued as either an attempt to imply that the relationship will break or could engender bad luck and cause the relationship to end.
Is There Any Common Sense Behind This Superstition?
With a lot of superstitions, if you dig deep enough and imagine how things might have been back in the day, then you can sometimes uncover a sort of logic behind them. For example, some people believe it’s bad luck to eat in the dark—sounds silly, doesn’t it? But, hey, think about it. Back in the day, before we had electric lightbulbs, who knew what you were eating in the dark—there could be a cockroach crawling around your ham sandwich and you wouldn’t know until it went CRUNCH in your mouth. Ewww!
So, how about this superstition? Well, it actually kind of does make some sense. After all, knives—even if intended for cooking—are weapons. There is a chance that that dandy set of steak knives could turn out to be the murder weapon. Unlikely, of course, but violent crime used to be more common than it is now (in spite of what the news might want to imply).
However, nowadays, every single household has plenty of knives around should somebody make like a ginger cookie and snap. So, you gifting a knife probably wouldn’t change much—whether it’s the knife you gave them or some other knife in their silverware drawer, unfortunately, where there’s a will there’s a way.
Are There Any Related Gifts I Should Avoid?
It’s important to note that it’s not just knives that are considered bad luck to give at weddings. Anything sharp or stabby is considered poor form. So, that rules out letter openers, scissors, and even shears for the hedges are a big no, no! It gets a big foggy, though, doesn’t it? Because would a lawn mower count as a “bladed” gift? Heck, what about a blender?
As you can see, not all superstitions stand up to the changes we’ve experienced in the modern world. Ultimately, though, it’s a shrug and a “who the heck knows!”
What Should I Do If I Still Want To Gift Some Knives At A Wedding?
So, there’s a good chance that, if you still want to gift knives, that you’re not superstitious. That’s fair, that’s half the battle. The second half of the battle is going to be finding out if either of the recipients are superstitious.
How can you find out? Well, start by finding out if they have a gift registry. If they do, then it’s no worries—you can just check to see if they have knives up there on their list. However, if they’re not doing a registry then the only way to find out is to ask them. I know, it could be awkward—”Hey, listen, I don’t know if y’all are superstitious, but I read on isitbadluck.com that giving knives at a wedding is bad luck and…”—but it’s worth finding out, even if it spoils the surprise.
What Should You Do If You’re Given A Knife And You Believe In Bad Luck?
Well, first and foremost, when it comes to back luck superstitions, there’s always the option to just not give a crap! Let’s just make sure we’re one hundred percent clear on that. ‘Kay? ‘Kay.
So, you were given a knife (or knives) as a wedding gift, and you’re worried it’ll bring bad luck to your union. Well, there’s a work around. You might need to involve the gift-giver though, which could be awkward and cause hurt feelings. This is because, the way to negate the bad luck is to give the giver a penny. The reason you do this is to convert the gift into a “purchase”. Having said that, though, you could probably just sneak a penny into their possession the next time you were at their house without necessarily making them aware—they’ll just think “Hey! A penny!”
P.S. Leave the penny heads side up, tails up is bad luck!
Conclusion: Is It Bad Luck To Give A Knife As A Wedding Gift?
There’s enough history behind this belief to give it some weight as a cause of bad luck. It’s not just that this belief has been long-held, it’s also that the belief is widespread. Not only do people believe in this in the English-speaking world, it’s also present in Chinese and Latin American culture.
So, there you have it—don’t give knives as wedding gifts unless you’re certain neither of the recipients are superstitious!
Here’s the final answer:
Is it bad luck to give a knife as a wedding gift? Yes.