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Jan 15, 2010 10:37 PM

Is giving knives as a wedding gift bad luck?

I’m contemplating buying a carving set as a wedding gift for my brother-in-law.
I remember being a little confused (5 years ago) when a friend was opening up her wedding gifts and taped onto the top of a cutlery set box was 10 cents. Apparently it’s a superstition that if you receive knives, scissors, and or other cutting items as a wedding gift it will bring bad luck to your marriage. So therefore the bride and groom then give the sender back the 10 cents, and in essence ‘buys’ the knives and can then live happily ever after.

Wish I could add a poll here:

Yes, I’d love to receive a Shun carving set as my wedding gift
No, I’d rather receive another toaster

So seriously as they are having a beach wedding, should they worry more about potential wind and rain on the day instead of being doomed for receiving a knife set? Or should I just buy them a nice Boo’s wooden cutting board?

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  1. we got a nice set of henckel's for a wedding gift. i don't recall any money to "buy them" enclosed (i'm not sure the male gifter would have known about the old wives' tale, though).

    now, let me assess whether it mattered.

    hmmmm, i don't think we've had "extra" strife over what we would've had anyway.

    "KNIFE: crossing two knives is bad luck. If you are given a present of a knife, give a coin in return to avoid 'cutting' the friendship."

    1. The superstition is that it is bad luck for the friendship of the giver and receiver, not bad luck for the married couple. And yes, I did give knives as a gift once and gave the money taped to the gift for the receiver to 'buy' it from me. Not because I believed it, but because it was a fun conversation starter at the wedding shower. Got us talking about other superstitions and whether the bride was going to follow them.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sooeygun

        I'm generally not superstitious, but I like Sooeygun's proposal.

        I was in China this summer, and brought back some big cleavers to give as gifts to friends and family back in the USA. When I gave my friends the knives, I asked them to pay me one penny each, so the knife gifting wouldn't sever our friendship.

        So to answer the OP's question, Yes I would love to receive a carving set as my wedding gift, and I would be happy to pay $0.01 for it :)

      2. I think you should buy the cutting board (not another toaster). There are so many potential very appreciated wedding gifts, why give something that has issues associated with it?

        1. I'll check with my swami, whose specialty is cutlery, and get back to you.

          1. What ethnic backround did this stuff come from?

            3 Replies
            1. re: mrbigshotno.1

              My Jewish nana gave me some knives for my engagement and made me give her a penny to "buy" it from her.

              1. re: Aimee

                And I'm Jewish and have never heard of it. I think it might be generational, rather than ethnic? But I really have no clue.

                And people can give me expensive knives anytime they want to.

              2. re: mrbigshotno.1

                I've heard this from Indian friends as well.