Knives hold a long and intricate history, from simple early cave tools to precisely engineered military instruments.
Where symbolism is concerned, there are as many metaphors and correlations for the knife as there are uses, be it dagger, machete–or switchblade.
The switchblade earned its hallmark notoriety thanks to 20th century pop culture, though its design and function date back centuries. Films like West Side Story, Rebel Without A Cause, and The Outsiders rendered the switchblade an invaluable accessory; an instrument intended to both threaten and defend, and be wielded with a sure, deft hand.
There are many reasons to get a switchblade tattoo, not all of which carry a violent connotation. Knives–even switchblades–often represent a severing of ties with one’s past or a painful experience, as well as protection against potential betrayal.
A switchblade tattoo can send multiple messages at once: that you have “cut away” a certain event or individual, and will not hesitate to slice through any future adversity that comes your way. Perhaps your switchblade is a modern interpretation of the Buddhist practice of using a knife to symbolize the cutting of material attachments. Whether you wear your switchblade tattoo in a prominent spot or more discreet place on your body, few will mistake your meaning.