This week, folks. Time for that special day of bad luck and misfortune. Are you quaking in your boots? If you are, you may be suffering from friggatriskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia. Wow, are those some mouthfuls or what?
Both those words mean the same thing, fear of Friday the 13th. Friggatriskaidekaphobia comes from Frigga, the name of the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named and triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number thirteen. Paraskevidekatriaphobia puts together the Greek words Paraskeví, meaning Friday, and dekatreís meaning "thirteen" attached to phobia, meaning fear. Whatever the case, these multisyllabic renditions of fear of Friday the 13th lead us back to that superstition about bad things happening on this day.
Interestingly enough, I discovered that this superstition did not apparently exist before 1900. There many theories about where the superstition may have started including the Last Supper where Jesus had dinner with his 12 Apostles, Jesus being number 13, the odd man out, but no theory is definitive. Nevertheless, it is now very much engrained in our culture. After all, the film franchise Friday the 13th capitalizes on this fear. Ooo, Jason is coming to get us!
Keep in mind that 13 is not always an unlucky number. Tetraphobia is an aversion to or fear of the number 4. It is a superstition most common in East Asian regions such as mainland China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. The Chinese word for four sounds quite similar to the word for death in many varieties of Chinese. Similarly, the Sino-Japanese and Sino-Korean words for four, shi and sa sound identical to death in each language.
17 is an unlucky number in Italy, because in Roman digits 17 is written XVII, that could be rearranged to "VIXI", which in Latin means "I have lived" but can be a euphemism for "I am dead." (Wikipedia) In Romania, Greece and some areas of Spain and Latin America, Tuesday the 13th (called "martes trece") is considered unlucky.
Don’t forget that this coming Friday, May 13, 2011, Lotto Max is going to be offering a little something to combat all that bad luck: a jackpot of $25 million!
Wikipedia: Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th occurs when the thirteenth day of a month falls on a Friday, which superstition holds to be a day of bad luck. In the Gregorian calendar, this day occurs at least once, but at most three times a year. Any month’s 13th day will fall on a Friday if the month starts on a Sunday.
Triskaidekaphobia (from Greek tris meaning "3", kai meaning "and", deka meaning "10" and phobia meaning "fear" or "morbid fear") is fear of the number 13; it is a superstition and related to a specific fear of Friday the 13th, called paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia.
Google image search: Friday the 13th
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