Triskaidekaphobia

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Some words of the day are more interesting than others. Today’s Dictionary.com word appropriately enough (it is a Friday the 13th) is triskaidekaphobia: Fear of the number 13 or Friday the 13th.

Don’t miss the list of famous triskaidekaphobes…


“Triskaidekaphobia is a fairly new word (first found in print in 1911) formed from Greek treiskaideka, triskaideka, ‘thirteen’ (treis, ‘three’ + kai, ‘and’ + deka, ‘ten’) + phobos, ‘fear.’ The adjective form is triskaidekaphobic. One who fears the number 13 is a triskaidekaphobe or triskaidekaphobic.

There are many theories about the origin of triskaidekaphobia. In medieval Christian countries the number 13 came to be considered unlucky because there were 13 persons at the Last Supper of Christ. Fridays are also unlucky, because the Crucifixion was on a Friday. Hence a Friday falling on the thirteenth day would be regarded as especially unlucky.

Some famous triskaidekaphobes:

  • Napoleon
  • Herbert Hoover
  • Mark Twain
  • Richard Wagner
  • Franklin Roosevelt”

9:28 am on May 13, 2005