In honor of Friday the 13th, I thought it would be interesting to list some other “unlucky” numbers from around the world.

(China and various parts of Asia) – The word for “4” is similar to the word for death.  Some buildings and public transport operators actually omit the number.

(Japan) – Similar to the word for suffering.

17 (Italy) – Rearranging the Roman numerals XVII creates a word that translates to “I have lived”, implying one’s life is now over.  When written in Arabic, it resembles a man hanging from a gallow.

39 (Afghanistan) – The number translates to the word “dead cow”.  It is also associated with pimps.  Seen as an undesirable number in license plates, cell phone numbers and apartments so the number is often avoided or covered up.

For an infographic with even more unlucky numbers (and some lucky ones), check out this article from


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