Sunday, July 27, 2008

Old Knives' Tales? This is funny to me, but until last week, it was something I'd only seen in a movie.

I told a friend I got my dad a nice pocket knife for his birthday, and she said I'd have to tell him to give me a coin. I asked why, and she said because if he didn't give me a coin in exchange for the knife, then the knife would cut the relationship.

I am not a superstitious person. In fact, I wish I could be a little more superstitious than I am, but there it is.

Have you heard of this coin exchange custom, or is this just an old knives' tale? Am I being a poopy-headed spoil sport for not playing along?

19 comments:

Joe Allen said...

It's one of the few superstitious rituals I observe.

I heard it from my Grandmother - I've mostly heard it applied towards knives, but I've also heard it in reference to scissors and other weapons, i.e. firearms.

I don't really believe in it, but I do like the tradition and ritual of it.

Joe

Vinnie said...

Always give them a knife and a nickel. Then they give the nickel back and its a purchase. Thats been the custom in my family for generations.

Thud said...

I'm not too bothered about such superstitions but I play along anyway...i like nthe little querks human nature throws up.....so take the money!

Zelda said...

So weird you bring this up. I'd never heard of it, but my sister-in-law gave me a set of steak knives for my birthday and she made me give her a quarter so we'd remain friends. They were totally worth the quarter, but I'm not superstitious either (says I as I throw a little salt over my left shoulder).

JR said...

When I was a boy my grandfather gave me a pocket knife and I had to give him a coin in return.

That has been my habit ever since.

Jeffro said...

It's just an old tradition. A penny from your Dad would work just fine.

JPG said...

Oh, yeah. I recall this from childhood. My great-uncle Weldon had the WWG Hardware in Ryan, Oklahoma. My grandfather, "Pop" would there go with me when we were visiting. He'd let me pick a knife out of the display case and buy it for me. I had to have some coin in my pocket to give him, or he wouldn't let me have "my" pocket knife. I once had to go and try to beg money from my mother, then my Dad, and finally my g-mother gave me dime to give to Pop.

You can bet, on the next visit, I had my own coin in my pocket when we went "downtown" to the hardware store.

In MY fambly, you'd have to have DEMANDED that you be given a coin for that knife.

No, this is not a superstition. It is a scientifically proven, REAL deal. But, don't let US influence you. I mean, don't do it if you don't want to. None of OUR business if the two of you become estranged, and your Da' becomes an embittered, lonely old man . . . .

JPG

oldblinddog said...

I've never heard of that. Maybe it has more to do with where you are from, tradition wise that is.

Miz Minka said...

I'm originally from Germany, and it's a custom there as well to give a coin in return for a gift that's a sharp object (like a knife or scissors), because otherwise "wuerde es die Freundschaft zerschneiden" (it would cut the friendship).

Attila The Mom said...

I've never heard of it, but then again, I was a girly girl. LOL

Mushy said...

I think what you don't know won't hurt ya!

My step dad gave me several and I didn't give anything in exchange...but then he died...so maybe there is something to it!

DirtCrashr said...

Never heard of it before. My family doesn't have much in the way of superstitions or rituals - I can't think of ANY.

Roberta X said...

It is an old custom and -- I think -- a charing one. It's more about affirming the value you place on the giver's friendship, that you'd make a token gesture (almost literally -- would a subway token count as payment?) to avoid even the chance of damaging the connection.

Amy said...

I've heard it from my dad and a couple other people too over the years. Anytime I've given a knife as a gift I include something that could be considered currency somewhere (beads, beans, foreign coins).

Matt G said...

I've given a few knives over the course of my life, and never took a dime for them. One of the recipients recently asked me to bring the family to come visit for a week. Another is my bride of 10.5 years. Another is my best friend of 25 years.

I'm not superstitious. At all.

Buck said...

That's been in my family for generations, too. And Mom was from the Deep South (Hot'Lanta) and Dad from Illinois... so the habit/folkway ain't all that "regional." My ex- knew and practiced the tradition, as well, and she was born and raised in Michigan.

staghounds said...

Never heard this superstition. I've always heard that it brings ill fortune to close a knife that another has opened.

David Amulet said...

That's a new one to me. Once I fell for the "give me a $20 bill for this coin" trick, and now I avoid all things coin-related.

doubletrouble said...

"a penny a point" is the way I heard it...