Word of the Week: Friggatriskaidekaphobia

Friggatriskaidekaphobia, the fear of Friday the 13th.

(Source: http://www.worldwidewords.org)

_______________________Use In a Sentence____________________

“Oh, my God!”

“Jesus Christ! You scared the hell out of me! Damn it, juice everywhere. That’s great. Money wasted, right? Aren’t you the one always going on about how we waste our resources on– What’s wrong?”

“I didn’t think it could happen.”



“Are you kidding? You’re actually just gonna sit down like it’s nothing, like nothing happened? Oh, okay. Jesus. I thought there was a bug in your cereal or something, scared the shit out of me. Seriously.”

“Yeah.” She laughs nervously. “A bug.”

“Alright, what gives?”


“You’re doing your Twitchy Sister impression.”

“Am not.”

“Your hands can’t keep still.”

“They can.”

“Your eyes are bulging out of your head.”

“My eyes are fine.”

“Hah! And there! You’re even biting your lower lip – you hate that about Marjorie, you say it makes her look like a Chihuahua!”

“I don’t hate my sister, Andrew. … But it kind of does make her look nuts. Oh, would you mind picking up some more almonds at the store when you go? I thought I’d bake almond cupcakes for later, I know how much Rhonda loves them.”

“Oh, yeah, sure. Isn’t Emil allergic, though?”

“He is?”

“Think so.”

“I’ll call Rhonda and ask. Damn, I wanted it to be a surprise. Maybe–”

“Hey! Hey, hey, hey, you clever little minx. You’re way too good at manipulating the topic away from what we were really talking about! You did it the other night too and now I can’t for the life of me remember what the hell I was angry about.”

She smiles sweetly.

“Well, not this time, woman!”

She giggles, shakes her head, but grows serious.


“It’s just… It’s this thing that you don’t know about me that I felt like I didn’t have to tell you because, well, honestly, it’s really a private thing and we don’t have to know absolutely everything about the other, right? Do I know absolutely everything there is to know about you?”

“You know all the things that might make me go oh-my-God.”


“Fine. I have… friggatriskaidekaphobia.”

“Wow. That’s the longest word I’ve ever heard.”

“I’m serious. It’s a serious condition.”

“If it takes the longest word in the world to describe it, then I believe you. What is it?”

“I have this fear of… not only the number thirteen, that’s just triskaidekaphobia.”

“Oh, yeah, no, that’s shorter, clearly not as serious.”

“Shut up! If you’re going to make light of this, then–”

“I’m not, I’m not, sorry, babe, I’m with you. Go on.”

“Well, I was flipping through the calendar and I realized that… this year… there’s not only one but three, three, get it? Three Friday the… you know.”

“The thirteenth? You’re scared of Friday the thir–”

“Sh! Yes. And now there’s three of them out there. Do you realize what this means?”

“…Should I?”

“People die on that date.”

“People die in general.”

“Don’t patronize me! I knew you would! It’s not just some weird phobia I got in my head when I was five and my first pet died on the blackest of Fridays, okay? That’s what all the therapists have told me. Oh, it’s to do with a traumatic occurrence in your past, Imogene; it’s got deep roots and you have to yank them out, Imogene; if you look deep inside you’ll realize your convictions are based on your fears, Imogene!” She rises abruptly. “Well, I know what I know, alright? Twenty years ago my aunt died. Then one of my brother’s girlfriends was in a terrible accident! Then our dog died. I mean, he was hit by a branch falling from a tree in the forest! That’s just bad freaking luck all around. He wasn’t even old!”


“Okay. So what we do is we barricade ourselves against any bad luck, right? We can plan, it’s not like the date can sneak up behind us and surprise attack us. So, when these three days arrive, we’ll have stocked up on four clover leaves and Holy Virgin figurines and Lucky Luke cartoons and we’ll make it a day of survival.”

She smiles a little, calming down and getting back in her seat.

“It’ll be alright. No one’s going to die. That we know, anyway.”

“Knock on wood.”

“How could I not know you were this superstitious? Any other phobia’s you’d like to divulge, my dove?

“The juice is gonna stain the carpet.”

“Yeah, I’d better clean it up.”


I wonder what they would call the fear of falling+the fear of heights… They’d go well together, though. Tiltingtomydeacrophobia, perhaps?

My favorite phobia? Phobophobia.

Fear of phobias.


~ by mescribe on October 21, 2010.

6 Responses to “Word of the Week: Friggatriskaidekaphobia”

  1. Wow, I had no clue this was a real fear. Longest word ever. Probably not, but it’s a close second.

    • Haha, yeah. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is the longest word ever. But Andrew didn’t know that. Perhaps he didn’t get to watch Mary Poppins as a child, poor dear. I’d no idea it was a real fear, either. I am super glad I don’t have it, though. 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13! 🙂

  2. You’ve now inspired me to look up the origin of the Friday the Thirteenth superstition.

  3. That is more than a mouthful. I haven’t even attempted to say it because I know that I’ll just embarrass myself.

    Do you have any phobias?

    • Yeah, it’s a tongue-twister, for sure. Be great as a drinking game of some sort. Say it five times fast and flawlessly or take one shot. Haha, everyone would die of alcohol poisoning. … Why am I laughing at that?

      Do I have any phobias…………….. Yup. I have dark, murky water phobia. I can seriously just barely walk on one of those floating docks, or possibly even a stabile one that hangs out over dark, murky water, without feeling a tremble in my knees. What’s in there? Could be anything. Could be a pre-historic monster of some kind that’s just not been discovered yet. Or a shark. For some reason, even in a lake that’s manmade, I always think there’s a way for a shark to get in there. The laws of nature and the not-hopped-up-on-imagination-adrenaline side of my brain tells me that nay, it is not possible, and yet the knees are atremble. It’s seriously annoying.

      I’ve always, always had a fear of sharks, and a fascination with them. That’s why I’d love to swim with them someday, just to face that fear head on. Well, by “swim with” I naturally mean in a cage with impenetrable, unbending steel bars and a person next to me for moral support.

      How about you?

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