People on TikTok are very superstitious about who closes their pocketknife

Find out what the Knife Rule is on TikTok as the phrase floods the app.

New words and phrases go viral on social media every month and it’s really difficult to keep up with what they all mean.

Gen-Z have their own vocabulary full of wacky terms that millennials can’t even get their heads around, let alone everyone else.

The latest thing everyone is talking about on TikTok is the Knife Rule, but what does it mean? Read on for a full explanation…

Photo by Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images

What is the Knife Rule on TikTok?

The Knife Rule is a superstition that says it’s bad luck to close a pocketknife that someone else has opened.

So, it’s best to give someone a pocket knife closed. Then they can open it, use it and return it closed, with the blade firmly inside.

If someone gives you an open pocketknife to use or borrow, you should return it open too, which isn’t the safest option but will avoid bad luck.

Also known as a jackknife, folding knife or EDC knife, a pocketknife is a knife with one or more blades that fold into the handle.

Blade lengths typically range from five to 15 centimetres and they can be carried around easily in your pocket as the blade is not dangerously exposed.

It’s not clear where the superstition began, but it seems to have been circling the internet since the 2010s and is suddenly flooding TikTok in March 2023.

Credit: Getty

Knife rule spreads on TikTok

The rule has gone viral on the app this month after a TikTok user called Blaise McMahon shared a clip which has had more than 3.3 million views.

“Gave a girl an open knife and she gave it back closed. Sh*t hasn’t been the same since,” he wrote, and most people were aware of the rule in the comments.

One person said “Real ones know if you open it you have to close it or it’s bad luck” and the person who made the video replied: “Exactly.”

Another agreed “If anyone ever opens my knife they close them. That’s the rule,” and someone else wrote: “NEVER EVER EVER!!! Always give it back the same as you got it.”

Lots of people said it was their dad taught them the rule when they were a young child and it seems to be a common superstition.

This comes as the TikTok slang term 304 is also confusing everyone on the platform in March.

More videos flood the app

Others weren’t aware of the rule, but will certainly be avoiding any bad luck in the future.

“The other day at work I let someone use my knife and she handed it back to me and I had given it to her open and she gave it back to me closed,” someone explained.

“I just thought it’s fine and put it back in my pocket but someone said to her it was bad luck, so I looked it up and there’s tonnes of superstitions.”

Another added that she learned the rule from her brother and says it “spoiled” her because she’ll never open or close a knife when there is a guy around now.

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