The million dollar question many speakers and learners of English ask is “Why are scissors called a pair?” In essence, this question makes sense because the object of concern being used in only one, but a pair is used for 2 of the things.
So, by that definition, wouldn’t a pair of scissors mean 2 scissors? Well, these are some interesting questions, and in this article, we shall explore this problem.
Where does the name come from?
Before we understand why scissors are called a pair, we need to understand the origins of this name. There are a few theories concerning where the name scissors come from. They are as follows:
In Middle English, the word for cutter was a scissor. Since the scissors perform a similar function of cutting, they are called as such. However, we could ask: if that’s so, why aren’t knives called scissors too?
Another important theory is that the sound that comes when we perform an action is of “scis”, and thus, the word scissors comes from this particular sound. Reasons Scissors are called a pair: Now let’s move on towards seeing why scissors are called a pair. A few of the reasons are as follows:
Two things make up the whole
Have you heard the terms, “a pair of trousers” or “a pair of shoes”? In that sense, there are 2 things, which make up a whole. If one shoe lacks, the item would become fundamentally useless, and similarly, if the trousers lack a leg, they would fundamentally lose their purpose. Hence, we have scissors, who exist in essence if and only if they are a pair.
English evolved in a very weird way
The English language has evolved in a very weird way. Most languages use very hard and fast rules, and there are extremely strict naming conventions when it comes to naming objects.
However, English does not follow any hard and fast rules, and thus, a lot of things do not even make any sense. If you try to delve deeper into this, you will get nothing but confusion.
What are single scissors called?
Now that you have understood why scissors are called a pair, what would happen if we disintegrate the two into one, then what are the single scissors called. Well, here is an explanation.
One of them is just called a blade
The scissors are made up of two components, and each of their components become a blade. They became a blade because they resemble a blade in every aspect, and fulfil the very essence of a blade.
If you consider them on one side and the blade on the other, you cannot distinguish them unless you consider the latter in a sense of its initial purpose. However, two blades can be combined to make a scissor at any time.
We have understood why are scissors called a pair, and also fundamentally what are single scissors called: a blade. Hope this gave you a good clarification for this problem.