Paraskevidekatriaphobia & Ancestral Superstitions

Do you suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia? Phobias are a common question on cruise trivias and most of them don’t seem to have Greek or Latin roots by which the meaning can be figured out.

In the case of paraskevidekatriaphobia, though, it is possible to decipher the meaning of this phobia, which I believe has few true sufferers!

The word is made from several Greek roots. Paraskevi translates to FRIDAY, deka is the root of TEN, and tri is a root for THREE.

Yep, paraskevidekatriaphobia is a fear of Friday the 13th, which occurs only once this year – yep, you guessed it – tomorrow, 13 August 2021.

Superstitions are deep rooted in various cultures and it is fair to say that our colonial ancestors definitely lived in a superstitious society.

I think we’ve all heard superstitions like finding a penny brings good luck, don’t let a black cat cross in front of you and don’t open an umbrella in the house.

However, there are many MANY more that (thankfully) have died out.

Here is a sampling of some of the more unusual superstitions that I came across while researching this topic:

1. Put an old shoe in the wall of your house to ward off evil spirits.
2. If tea grounds are floating in your cup, company is coming.
3. If you dream about a funeral, a wedding will happen and if you dream of a wedding, there will be a funeral.
4. If a fish bone is stuck in your throat, pull your big toe and it will come right out.
5. The number of white marks seen on a person’s fingernails equals the number of lies the person has told.
6. If you put a sock and shoe on one foot and then a sock and shoe on the other foot (instead of putting on both socks and then both shoes), you will have an accident.
7. Wear a red string around your neck to prevent rheumatism.
8. If you have weak eyes, put holes in your ears. This will improve your vision.
9. A baby who doesn’t fall downstairs once before he/she is one year old will grow up to be a fool.
10. A woman who stirs batter from left to right is a good cook, but if she stirs it from right to left, she’s a bad cook.
11. If your eyebrows grow together, you are or will become rich.
12. If 13 people sit at one table, one person will die within the year.
13. Female witches could only harm other females.
14. To get rid of your wart, wait until you see someone riding a horse, look at the person and say “I wish you had my wart.” Yours will be gone and that person will now have it.
15. If you drop a piece of buttered bread on the floor and it lands with butter touching the floor, you will have bad luck.
15. Count the number of white horses you see up to 99. The next person of the opposite sex with whom you shake hands will be the person you marry.

I’m not a superstitious person at all, but tomorrow I hope everyone finds at least one penny to bring them good luck. 🙂

 

5 thoughts on “Paraskevidekatriaphobia & Ancestral Superstitions”

  1. This made me laugh. You forgot about don’t walk under a ladder, and remember thing about not stepping on a sidewalk crack because it’ll break your mother’s back?

    Happy Friday 13th. I’m not superstitious at all.

  2. In Ireland, I’m more familiar with the term Friggatriskaidekaphobia, which derives from Norse mythology, where Frigg was the Goddess of Friday – maybe from our ‘Viking’ ancestry. Same superstitions all over the world.

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