In medieval England, thirteen was not ill-omened. It was associated either with the 'extra' item customarily added to the dozen when selling certain produce, for example buns or eggs (hence 'baker's dozen'); or with groups of twelve-plus-a-leader, modelled on Christ and the Apostles. By the end of the 17th century, a belief had developed that if thirteen people sat down to a meal together, this meant one of them would die within a year; the first known reference is in The Athenian Mercury for June 1695, in an anecdote about a lady who was warned by the ghost of a friend that she would shortly die in these circumstances (reprinted by the editor of Aubrey's Miscellanies in 1857, pp. 207-8). The explanation suggested, both then and now, is that at the Last Supper one of the thirteen present, *Judas Iscariot, was the first to leave the table and killed himself soon afterwards. From the 1890s onwards, thirteen was considered unlucky in various other contexts, for example as the number of a hotel room or a house; as the belief grew stronger in the 20th century, such items were often renumbered as '12A' or omitted entirely. *Friday the thirteenth came to be particularly dreaded. Further explanations now sometimes offered are that there are thirteen witches in a *coven, and that the Death card is the thirteenth tarot trump. However, there is a counter-belief that thirteen is 'lucky for some' in bingo and other games of chance. Opie and Tatem, 1989: 197-9.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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  • Thirteen — Thir teen , n. 1. The number greater by one than twelve; the sum of ten and three; thirteen units or objects. [1913 Webster] 2. A symbol representing thirteen units, as 13 or xiii. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Thirteen — (engl. ‘Dreizehn’) steht für: Dreizehn (Film) (englischer Originaltitel), Film von Catherine Hardwicke und Nikki Reed Thirteen (Alton Towers) (auch TH13TEEN), Achterbahn Thirteen (Album), Musikalbum der US amerikanischen Band Megadeth …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thirteen — Thir teen (th[ e]r t[=e]n ), a. [OE. threttene, AS. [thorn]re[ o]t[=e]ne, [thorn]re[ o]tyne. See {Three}, and {Ten}, and cf. {Thirty}.] One more than twelve; ten and three; as, thirteen ounces or pounds. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • thirteen — early 15c., metathesis of O.E. þreotene (Mercian), þreotiene (W.Saxon), from þreo three + tene (see TEEN (Cf. teen)). Cf. O.Fris. thretten, Du. dertien, Ger. dreizehn. Not an unlucky number in medieval England, but associated rather with the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • thirteen — ► CARDINAL NUMBER ▪ one more than twelve; 13. (Roman numeral: xiii or XIII.) DERIVATIVES thirteenth ordinal number. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • thirteen — [thʉr′tēn′] adj. [ME thrittene < OE threotyne: see THREE & TEEN] totaling three more than ten n. the cardinal number between twelve and fourteen; 13; XIII …   English World dictionary

  • Thirteen — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. En anglais, thirteen désigne le nombre 13. Sommaire 1 Art et divertissement 1.1 Albums …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Thirteen — Para el artículo sobre el personaje de House, véase Remy Hadley. Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Thirteen — TH1RT3EN …   Википедия

  • thirteen — noun Etymology: Middle English thrittene, from thrittene, adjective, from Old English thrēotīne; akin to Old English tīen ten more at ten Date: 14th century see number table • thirteen adjective • thirteen pronoun, plural in construction •… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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