Friday, February 13, 2009
The Greeks had a word for it.
The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia, a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή) (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς) (meaning thirteen), attached to phobía (φοβία) (meaning fear). This is a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia, a simple phobia (fear) of the number thirteen, and is also known as friggatriskaidekaphobia. The term triskaidekaphobia was derived in 1911 and first appeared in a mainstream source in 1953.
So says Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.
So the Greeks didn’t have a word for it. They had two words for it, paraskavedekatriaphobia and friggatriskaidekaphobia.
But wait. That can’t be right. One of those words, I think, is not legitimate Greek.
Do you know which word is not really Greek, and why? Hint: It has nothing to do with the fact that the term triskadekaphobia was not derived until 1911. You’ll need to think again, a little harder.