The meaning of numbers

The meaning of numbers

(Photo courtesy of Teosaurio on Flickr)

Superstitions involving certain numbers are extremely common.

If you’re a superstitious person and have wondered why some numbers have more significance than others, here we explain why they carry certain meanings.


Four-leaf clovers are seen as being a good-luck charm because of their rarity, as they usually have just three leaves. In Japan, four is seen as being unlucky as the way it’s pronounced is similar to the Japanese word for ‘death’.


Although widely perceived to be a lucky number, you might not know that, if you break a mirror, you’re expected to get seven years’ worth of bad luck. This saying apparently dates back to Roman times, when servants who broke mirrors would take seven years to pay for a replacement one out of their wages.


The number eight is considered to be very lucky in China, as the word ‘eight’ sounds similar to the Cantonese word for prosper.


There are many reasons why 13 may be seen as unlucky. Thirteen people dined at the Last Supper and the myth that 13 turns make a hangman’s noose are among the reasons why the number has its reputation.


The number of the beast, the reason behind 666’s reputation is supposedly because six is one short of seven, which is the number of days it took God to create the world.

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