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17

Heptadecaphobia (from the Ancient Greek hepta meaning "seven", and deca meaning "ten", since 7+10=17), heptakaidekaphobia, or septadecaphobia is fear of the number 17. The fear may have originated from Italy, where 17 is considered the unlucky number. Italy is also where the Roman numeral was patented, which the Roman numeral for 17 is XVII, which anagrammically translates to vixi, the Latin word for "I have lived", which in the perfect sense means "my life is over". The fear can also be originated from mythology where Osiris died on the 17th day of the month. These imply that the number 17 may believably be a death number.

There are some personal causes of heptadecaphobia, including frequently having horrible days on the 17th of the month, e.g. having really bad day on January 17, then February 17, and so on. Some sufferers would have their fears enhanced when full moon occurred on the 17th of the month, which the legend goes back to the death of Osiris during the full moon. Few other sufferers may only fear the full moon falling on the 17th day of the month, which will next occur in June 2019, which would be the subtractive mestoselenophobia-heptadecaphobia hybrid, meaning those sufferers would only fear the full moon when falling on the 17th while only fearing the number when full moon falls on it.

The unluckiness of the number 17 may not be that surprising as it is the sum of 4 (the unlucky number in several Asian countries including China and Japan) and 13 (the unlucky number over much of the world).

Heptadekaphobia was mentioned in one of the Jeopardy! clues on July 29, 2014.


Number phobias
Oudenophobia (fear of 0) · Henophobia (fear of 1) · Dyophobia (fear of 2) · Triskaphobia (fear of 3) · Tetraphobia (fear of 4) · Pentaphobia (fear of 5) · Hexaphobia (fear of 6) · Heptaphobia (fear of 7) · Octophobia (fear of 8) · Enneaphobia (fear of 9) · Decaphobia (fear of 10) · Hendecaphobia (fear of 11) · Dodecaphobia (fear of 12) · Triskaidekaphobia (fear of 13) · Hexadecaphobia (fear of 16) · Heptadecaphobia (fear of 17) · Octodecaphobia (fear of 18) · Enneadecaphobia (fear of 19) · Eikositriophobia (fear of 23) · Eikosihexaphobia (fear of 26) · Triakontenneaphobia (fear of 39) · Tessarakontadyophobia (fear of 42) · Hexekontadyophobia (fear of 62) · Hexekontenneaphobia (fear of 69) · Hebdomekontahenophobia (fear of 71) · Ogdokontaheptaphobia (fear of 87) · Enenekontenneaphobia (fear of 99) · Hekatophobia (fear of 100) · Hekatohendecaphobia (fear of 111) · Hekatenenekontahenophobia (fear of 191) · Diakosioihekkaidekaphobia (fear of 216) · Diakosioipentekontaphobia (fear of 250) · Triakosioitriakontatriophobia (fear of 333) · Tetrakosioeikosiphobia (fear of 420) · Hexakosioihekkaidekaphobia (fear of 616) · Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (fear of 666) · Heftakosioitessarakontaheptaphobia (fear of 747) · Enniakosioihendecaphobia (fear of 911) · Enniakosioenenekontenneaphobia (fear of 999) · Tessarakontadyochilahexekontenneaphobia (fear of 42069) · Meganumerophobia (fear of large numbers) · Imparnumerophobia (fear of odd numbers) · Omalonumerophobia (fear of even numbers) · Primonumerophobia (fear of prime numbers) · Paranumerophobia (fear of irrational numbers) · Neganumerophobia (fear of negative numbers)

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