What do scissors symbolize?

What do scissors symbolize?

Scissors are a common tool found in households, offices, and various industries. While they serve a practical purpose, scissors also hold symbolic meaning in different cultures and contexts. In this article, we will explore the symbolism of scissors and how they are perceived in various aspects of life.

The practical significance of scissors

Before delving into the symbolic meaning of scissors, it is important to acknowledge their practical significance. Scissors are primarily used for cutting various materials such as paper, fabric, and hair. They are essential tools in crafting, tailoring, and hairstyling, among other fields. The ability to precisely cut and shape objects makes scissors indispensable in many aspects of our daily lives.

Scissors as a symbol of separation

One of the most common symbolic meanings associated with scissors is separation. The act of cutting with scissors physically divides one object into two or more parts. This symbolism is often used to represent the end of a relationship or the severing of ties. For example, in wedding ceremonies, couples may use scissors to cut a ribbon, symbolizing the beginning of their separate lives together.

Scissors are also used in rituals and ceremonies to symbolize the cutting away of negative energy or unwanted influences. In some cultures, people perform a ritual called “cutting the cord” to release emotional attachments or break free from unhealthy relationships. The act of cutting with scissors is believed to sever the energetic connection between individuals, allowing them to move forward.

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Scissors as a symbol of protection

While scissors are often associated with separation, they can also symbolize protection. In some cultures, scissors are believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits or protect against harm. This belief stems from the idea that the sharp blades of scissors can cut through negative energy and provide a barrier of protection.

For example, in Feng Shui, a traditional Chinese practice of harmonizing energy in the environment, scissors are sometimes used as a protective talisman. Placing a pair of scissors near the entrance of a home or office is believed to ward off negative energy and protect the space from harm.

Scissors as a symbol of creativity

Scissors are closely associated with creativity and artistic expression. The ability to cut and shape materials allows individuals to create new forms and bring their ideas to life. In the world of art and design, scissors are often used as a symbol of the creative process.

Artists, designers, and craftsmen use scissors as tools to transform raw materials into works of art. Whether it’s cutting paper for intricate origami designs or shaping fabric for a couture dress, scissors play a vital role in the creative journey. The act of cutting with scissors represents the artist’s ability to shape and mold their vision into a tangible form.

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The symbolism of scissors extends beyond cultural and traditional contexts. Scissors have made their way into popular culture, often representing themes of duality, separation, and danger.

In literature, scissors are sometimes used as a metaphor for the division between good and evil. For example, in Charles Dickens’ novel “A Tale of Two Cities,” the character Madame Defarge is described as knitting and cutting with her scissors, symbolizing her role in the French Revolution and the separation between the oppressed and the oppressors.

In movies and television, scissors are often used as a visual symbol to create tension and evoke a sense of danger. The iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” features a close-up shot of a pair of scissors, heightening the suspense and foreshadowing the impending violence.


Scissors hold various symbolic meanings across different cultures and contexts. They represent separation, protection, and creativity, among other things. The act of cutting with scissors physically divides objects, making them a powerful symbol of separation and the end of relationships. However, scissors can also symbolize protection, as their sharp blades are believed to ward off negative energy. Additionally, scissors are closely associated with creativity and artistic expression, serving as tools for artists and designers to bring their ideas to life.

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Whether used practically or symbolically, scissors continue to play a significant role in our lives. They are not only tools for cutting, but also symbols that carry deeper meanings and evoke powerful emotions.

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