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Paraskevidekatriaphobia – language and words in the news

Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the new BuzzWord this week on Macmillan Dictionary.

Paraskevi… what?’ you ask. Knowing a bit of Greek and a bit about word formation will help you get to the end of this word.

The term paraskevidekatriaphobia is based on the Greek words paraskevi (‘Friday’) and dekatria (‘thirteen’) with –phobia as a suffix to indicate ‘fear’. Paraskevidekatriaphobes have had lot to worry about in 2009 when we are having the maximum possible number in any one year – 3 – of Friday the 13th, the last of which falls on this Friday (13th November). Paraskevidekatriaphobia is in fact a form of triskaidekaphobia, which refers to the fear of the number 13.

Here are some interesting links for further exploration of paraskevidekatriaphobia:

Fascinating factoids including famous people born on Friday the 13th

Who’s afraid of Friday the 13th?

Freaky Friday

How well do you know Friday the 13th?

Click here to take our mini survey to find out how many paraskevidekatriaphobes and triskaidekaphobes there are amongst us.

Read last week’s BuzzWord. Cloud computing: public and private clouds.

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Kati Sule

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