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Mar 14, 2007
This week's theme
Words related to the number 13 to mark the thirteenth anniversary of Wordsmith.org

This week's words
tridecennary
triskaidekaphobia
bakers dozen
rondeau
trecento

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triskaidekaphobia

(tris-ky-dek-uh-FO-bee-uh) Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

noun: Fear of the number 13.

From Greek treiskaideka (thirteen), from treis (three) + kai (and) + deka (ten) + phobia (fear).

Why a fear of the number 13? It's one more than the dozen which leaves one unlucky one out if you divide something in groups of two, three, four, or six. It's also said that there were 13 people in the Last Supper. Friday the 13th is considered especially unlucky by many, while in some cultures, in the Spanish-speaking world, for example, it's Tuesday the 13th that is believed to be unlucky.

"Chowrasia probably suffering from triskaidekaphobia bungled on the 13th and allowed Harmeet to get a firm grip on the title."
Harmeet Takes Trophy; Hindu (Chennai, India); Dec 23, 2006.

See more usage examples of triskaidekaphobia in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

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