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David Ott




Location: Russellville, AR
Joined: 06 May 2008

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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 8:08 pm    Post subject: Folder Superstition         Reply with quote

I've lived most of my life in the southern U.S., and we have our own version of "culture" down here, much of which revolves around hunting and fishing and camping and general outdoorsmanship and hillbilly-dom. As a result, virtually everyone here carries a folder or pocket knife of some sort pretty much everywhere they go. Now, there's this common superstition here that if someone loans you their folding knife open, you shouldn't close it before giving it back, that you'll "sever" your friendship or that it's just plain bad luck. I was wondering if this superstition arose here and in more modern times, or if there's any sort of similar belief from a time when blades were a more common element of a wider society.
I realise this may be a rather obscure question, but it was on my mind today, and thought I'd pose it to a larger body of more educated minds. Any input would be grandly appreciated.
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 9:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hm, it wouldn't surprise me if there was some local knife superstition here in Sweden as well. We never often used folders, though, as belt-knives have always been the preferred variety.

Interesting topic, anyway. Might do some research about it, could be fun.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 9:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here in MD, I've heard of it but I've never been a practicing "member" of that.

In Sweden, I have heard that if you receive a knife as a gift, you should cut yourself with it before ever using it, so that it has already "tasted" your blood before, and will not seek it out.

M.

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Jean Le-Palud




Location: France
Joined: 11 May 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 10:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here in France it is said that if you give someone a knife as a present it will cut friendship. So if you are given a knife (or any other cutting object) you are supposed to give, say one cent back to the giver in order to "pay" for the object.
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Russ Thomas
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Location: Telemark, Norway
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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 10:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In England we also have the tradition that if you give a knife to someone as a gift, they must give you a penny or something as an offering, otherwise it will cut the friendship.
Unfortunately I have no idea as to the originas of this belief. This should be an interesting topic Big Grin

Regards,

Russ

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero !


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Reinier van Noort





Joined: 13 Dec 2006

Posts: 165

PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No real superstition, but I have noticed that every knife I have had has cut me once, and once only. (Except for the pocket knive I have had since childhood, which has cut me on several occasions, but that usually was just youthful stupidity.)

Anders post reminded me of this.

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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2008 5:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Le-Palud wrote:
Here in France it is said that if you give someone a knife as a present it will cut friendship. So if you are given a knife (or any other cutting object) you are supposed to give, say one cent back to the giver in order to "pay" for the object.


Russ Thomas wrote:
In England we also have the tradition that if you give a knife to someone as a gift, they must give you a penny or something as an offering, otherwise it will cut the friendship.


We have this exact same tradition here in New Zealand. I'm guessing that we adopted it from either France or England.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

अजयखड्गधारी
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2008 9:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:

In Sweden, I have heard that if you receive a knife as a gift, you should cut yourself with it before ever using it, so that it has already "tasted" your blood before, and will not seek it out.


I can't say I've ever heard that one before... Eek!

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2008 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It might well be a Danish tradition -- don't recall the nationality of the guy who told me, it was more than 10 years ago.

M.

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Russ Thomas
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Location: Telemark, Norway
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PostPosted: Sun 25 May, 2008 9:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
It might well be a Danish tradition -- don't recall the nationality of the guy who told me, it was more than 10 years ago.

M.


Well I am half Danish, and have given and received gifts of knives several times in Denmark, but I have never heard of that one. Mind you, I am not superstitious so maybe I just wasn't listening ! Laughing Out Loud

Maybe there is some old Norse Viking saga that mentions such a thing?

Regards,

Russ

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero !


http://www.living-history.no
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Alberto Dainese




Location: Padova - Italy
Joined: 25 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Sun 25 May, 2008 11:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bennison N wrote:
Jean Le-Palud wrote:
Here in France it is said that if you give someone a knife as a present it will cut friendship. So if you are given a knife (or any other cutting object) you are supposed to give, say one cent back to the giver in order to "pay" for the object.


Russ Thomas wrote:
In England we also have the tradition that if you give a knife to someone as a gift, they must give you a penny or something as an offering, otherwise it will cut the friendship.


We have this exact same tradition here in New Zealand. I'm guessing that we adopted it from either France or England.


The very same in Italy too. Not only about knives but every sharp tool (e.g. scissors). Sometimes the cent is included in the gifts packet so the receiver has it handy to give you. There's also something about handkerchiefs but I think it's quite OT, isn't it.
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Shawn Henthorn




Location: Amarillo TX
Joined: 25 May 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 26 May, 2008 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have heard all of those here in the U.S. I have also heard of the "blooding the edge" myth, but about swords, not knives..who knows where that one came from.
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D. Nogueira




Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Joined: 26 Aug 2006

Posts: 42

PostPosted: Mon 26 May, 2008 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Thomas wrote:
In England we also have the tradition that if you give a knife to someone as a gift, they must give you a penny or something as an offering, otherwise it will cut the friendship.


This old tradition also survives in Argentina, more likely in the country.
Whenever I had the opportunity, I continued it.
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Bryce Felperin




Location: San Jose, CA
Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posts: 552

PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2008 10:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Le-Palud wrote:
Here in France it is said that if you give someone a knife as a present it will cut friendship. So if you are given a knife (or any other cutting object) you are supposed to give, say one cent back to the giver in order to "pay" for the object.


I've done a variation of this with a couple of friends of mine in the past in New Mexico. There if you give someone a knife as a gift, they have to give you a quarter. I don't know how prevalent that is with others there, but my Native-American friends there practiced it. However I don't know if it is a Native-American practice in their culture or not. :-)
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Kelly Powell




Location: lawrence, kansas
Joined: 27 Feb 2008

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2008 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the penny thing came from way back when pennies were silver.....Have known relatives and other families in missouri and arkansas who if gifting someone with a knife makes sure they give something silver along with it...that is supposed to keep the friendship from being severed.....The exceptions to this is if somebody is going away for a long time(war for instance) You allow the knife to "sever" any debts or responsibilities until that person returns....They then should return the knife WITH a piece of silver to reestablish the friendship.
As for giving a knife your blood so it won't take it again......I am a ex-chef , and kitchen knives must be a ravenous, bloodthirsty lot, cuz those bastards want some every few months Evil
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