Fears About Numbers

Are you afraid of numbers? Do you fear one specific number, some of them, or all of them in general? If so, I hope my math tricks will help you conquer your fear, besides, numbers are for counting & measuring. Never let math homework terrify you again!

According to some common beliefs, these two specific numbers are very likely to scare people:

13 & 666.

People fear the number 13 because it's considered unlucky; similarly Chinese people consider the number 4 unlucky. And the number 666 is sometimes called: "the Mark of the Beast"; it's also considered unlucky especially in Christian traditions. A verse in the Bible associates this number with the Devil. Some people even fear the number 8 because of its figure!

The table below shows terms related to number fears:

TermFear of the Number
numerophobiaAll of Them!

The suffix -phobia comes from the Latin & Greek languages, it means "fear", but probably figured that out already!

Click here to go to the Phobia Wiki to see more number-related fear terms!

For a person who fears any of these numbers, the I & A in -phobia would both be replaced with an E forming -phobe, and a person who fears the number 13 for example would be called a triskaidekaphobe. As an adjective, the A is replaced with a C forming -phobic, as in tetraphobic.

Sometimes, people are so scared of these numbers that they don't even want to print them! In some buildings, the 13th floor is called "12A"; otherwise, they just skip the number 13 altogether! The same is done with airlines' seating rows! (What a shame!) The most commonly known superstition about the number 13 is that Friday the 13th of any month is considered a day of bad luck! This date is never deleted from calendars and if it was, people might lose track of the current date which would be terrible; besides, you can't stop a day from becoming today!

Can't see the cartoon? Try going to the Comic Strip Section and looking for the episode; its title appears below. The Episode List will tell you which Comic Strip Page number it's on.

In Season 3, Episode 31: "Bedridden Burger", Burger had paraskavedekatriaphobia(fear of Friday the 13th!)

You should always remember that whether you fear it or not, a number is a number, and it deserves to be treated like one. Despite the superstitions about them, the numbers are just numbers in the following arithmetic statements, and NOT figures of misfortune:

13 - 1 = 12     4 + 2 = 6

333 × 2 = 666     111 × 6 = 666

26 ÷ 2 = 13     666 - 88 = 578

The superstitions about misfortune are just coincidences. (Coincidences can be tricky, I understand that.) All the arithmetic statements above are correct and all they're doing is telling the truth about numbers; they aren't here to jinx you!

Source of Reference: Easy as Pi: Numbers We Use Every Day by Jamie Buchan

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© Derek Cumberbatch