You can’t give people sharp objects

Informant Data:

The informant is a 19-year old American student who was born in Corona, California in 1996. Her father is Indian and her mother is African-American. She is a freshman at the University of Southern California and thus currently resides in Los Angeles, California.


Contextual Data:

I was hanging out with the informant in the common area of her suite, and I asked her if she had any folk beliefs that she believed in. She thought about it for a moment, and then she told me that she thought of one.

When asked why she believed in this folk belief and/or why it appealed to her, she told me that it just seemed like common sense that you wouldn’t give a sharp object to someone because it just seems threatening or menacing, and so she supposed that is why the folk belief she knew predicted that you’d have a bad relationship with someone you gave a sharp object to.



“You can’t give people sharp objects because it means you’re going to have a bad relationship with them in the future.”



My theory is that this belief perhaps comes from an idea that giving someone a sharp object suggests that they should be ready to fight something, which could be interpreted as an aggressive act on the part of the person who gave the sharp object.