Number Superstitions

For those who know me, this is a familiar topic. And one I like to revisit.

In one major Chinese dialect, the pronunciation of the numbers 0 – 9 can be substituted with similar words. For example, “8” can mean “fortune”, while “5” could be taken as “empty” and “2” might be “easy”. So, if you take the number “852”, you could end up with the meaning, “fortune is not easy to make”, aka, “no pain no gain”.

So numbers can represent the following:

  • 1: Definitely
  • 2: Easy
  • 3: Business / life
  • 4: Death
  • 5: Empty / negative
  • 6: Road / journey
  • 7: Ghosts / paranormal / rigidity
  • 8: Fortune / prosperity
  • 9: Plenty / longevity
  • 0: Zero / as a result
  • “ho”: “number”

Thus, if your favourite number is 4848, it could literally mean, “even if [I] die, [I] will succeed!” or “[I] will make money even if it kills [me].”

On the other hand, if you want your protagonist to be superstitious about good fortune and not carry a good luck charm, etc., then you might consider having him/her believe in “8989” or “888” or any combination that omits 4, 5, 7, and 0 is good. However, what about an antagonist who wants to curse the protagonist, or leave a cryptic calling card? Would the following be suitable enough: 463614? (Dead end road might provide a lifeline, but death is certain.)

Heh. Enjoy. 🙂

Number Superstitions

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