triskaidekaphobia

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triskaidekaphobia

Post by Archived Topic » Wed Jan 14, 2004 4:37 am

I'm just wondering why people are afraid of number 13? why not 14, 10 or any numbers, WHY number 13. Also when did the word Triskaidekaphobia used or created and what's the reason for choosing this word.
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Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 14, 2004 4:51 am

The word is the Greek for "thirteen" + the word "fear."
Various reasons are given: there were thirteen disciples; the thirteenth, Judas, was treacherous. I rather believe that the fear is more ancient than that, arising from the supposed magical properties of prime numbers and squares--for example, three is a generally superstitious number, and nine (its square) likewise has magical properties.

Conrad Geller
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Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:05 am

It's an oddball number between a dozen (12) and a stone
(14)
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Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:20 am

Though I don't recall the source, I recall the explanation for 13, being the number of persons at the Last Supper. The 13th floor of many buildings, especially hotels is labled 14 so that 13 is skipped. I recently worked on a new hotel building design that has owners from Hong Kong. There, the number 4 is skipped because it sounds like the word for "death" in Chinese. The building has no 4th or 13th floor.

Ed Kaminski

Grayslake, IL
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Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:49 am

Read something about this once....an odd number at a dinner party was considered unlucky--someone was without a dinner partner.
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Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 14, 2004 6:03 am

Ancient Egyptians had superstitions regarding the 13th day of their months. I don't know why, or how it came to be only Friday the 13th in modern times. And the word Triskaidekaphobia is literally three (tris) and (kai) ten (deka) fear (phobia).
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Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 14, 2004 6:17 am

Elektra,

According to the biblical story of the Exodus, the Passover would have occured on Friday the 13th, by Egyptian timekeeping. Biblically, the 14th would begin at sundown of the 13th. The death of Egypt's firstborn sons may have been the beginning of the superstition.

Myna
USA
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Post by Archived Reply » Wed Jan 14, 2004 6:32 am

Supposedly in Judaism, 13 is a lucky number. Could it maybe be that the Christians decided to take this information and reverse it so that Jews looked more undesirable than they already were?
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:12 am

Cassell Dictionary of Superstitions

THIRTEEN: Of all the numbers, 13 is the most ill boding. The prejudice against the number 13 is almost universal and many people (who may be identified as having ‘tiskaidekaphobia’ [[[1910–15: 'triskaideka' is 13 in Greek]]) will go to considerable lengths to avoid any association with the number. As a result there are many streets throughout the Western world which have no house with this number, and many hotels which lack a room 13 and even a 13th floor, going directly form 12 to 14. Witches covens traditionally have 13 members, and in tarot card decks the number 13 is reserved for death.

Most unlucky of all is the discovery that one has sat down to a dinner at a table where 13 people are present, a reference to the fact that there were 13 people present at the Last Supper, where Judas Iscariot was the 13th. Superstition has it that the first person to rise (or otherwise the last person to be seated) will die within a year. The only remedy is for all to sit and stand together, or for one or more of the party to be seated at another table.

In reality, the prejudice against the number 13 is of obscure origins, as evidence exists of it in Roman civilization long before Christ and the Last Supper, which is nonetheless usually cited as the source of the superstition. Perhaps significantly, the number 13 was to the ancient Egyptians the last step of the ladder via which the soul reached eternity, though some other authorities suggest Hindu origins.
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Ken G – January 29, 2005
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Post by haro » Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:09 pm

By the way, the fear of Friday the 13th is sometimes called paraskevidekatriaphobia. Paraskevi is the Greek word for Friday (actually it means 'preparation' in the sense of preparation for Sabbath), and dekatria means 13, just like tris kai deka, only in a somewhat more contemporary form (as in Modern Greek). Paraskevitriskaidekaphobia would be the more classical form.
Of course we could go on, creating new terms such as paraskevidekatriamelanailourophobia, meaning the fear of black cats on Friday the 13.
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Post by Mel » Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:24 am

If the number 13 is so bad, why is it reflected so many times on the U.S. $1 bill-- 13 levels in the pyramid, 13 stars, 13 arrows, 13 stripes, 13 leaves, and 13 olives? Is it because of the original 13 colonies?

Were the founding fathers above superstition? If they were, then they deserved all the good fortune they had in defeating the British against the odds.
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:48 pm

Mel, For the one dollar bill the fact that their were originally 13 colonies trumped superstition and all the 13s on the bill attest to that fact.

There are 13 stripes in the American flag, six white and seven red by resolution of the Continental Congress in 1777. In 1795, when there were 15 states, two stripes were added along with two more stars. But the sentimental love of thirteen led to the 13-stripe flag being reinstated in 1818, by which time there were 20 states and 20 stars.

Ken – February 1, 2004
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