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A Complete Guide To Unlucky Numbers In Chinese

Ever wondered about Unlucky Numbers in Chinese culture and why they matter? If you’re confused about why some numbers are seen as bad luck, you’re not alone. In China, certain numbers are thought to bring bad luck because they sound like words with negative meanings.This article is here to help you understand these unlucky numbers and what they mean in a simple, friendly way. We’ll talk about why these numbers are important in Chinese culture.So, if you are looking to learn more about Chinese culture or just curious about what numbers are unlucky in Chinese, you are in the right place.

Part 1: The Role of Numerology in Chinese Culture

Unlucky Numbers In Chinese

Before getting straight on what are the unlucky numbers in Chinese, it’s better to first understand the role of numerology in Chinese culture.

Well, numerology is really important in Chinese culture. It’s not just a belief but a big part of daily life. The Chinese think that numbers can bring good or bad luck. This idea affects many things like choosing phone numbers, car plates, and even house numbers.

Each number in Chinese numerology has its own meaning. This is often because of how the number sounds when spoken. Some numbers are lucky because they sound like words for things like success or money. But other numbers are avoided because they sound like words for bad things like loss or death.

You’ll see this belief in action in many ways. Businesses often pick ‘lucky’ numbers for their shops. People choose special dates for weddings based on good numbers. It’s a way of thinking that connects everything in life, with numbers playing a big part.

So, knowing about this helps us understand why some numbers are seen as unlucky in Chinese culture. It’s more than just superstition; it’s a long-standing tradition that means a lot to the Chinese way of life.

Part 2: Understanding Unlucky Numbers in Chinese

Unlucky Numbers In Chinese

In Chinese culture, unlucky numbers are all about how they sound. It’s like when a number sounds similar to a word that means something bad, people think that number is unlucky. This idea is big in China because the way you say words in Chinese can really change their meaning.

Here’s how it works: In Chinese, every word has its own tone, and the tone can make a big difference. So, if a number sounds like a word with a bad meaning, people want to stay away from that number. They believe it brings bad luck.

This isn’t just a small thing. It’s a big part of how people think in China. They believe words and numbers have a kind of energy, and this energy can be good or bad. By avoiding unlucky numbers, people think they can keep away bad luck and keep things balanced and good.

This way of thinking affects a lot of things. People pick special dates, phone numbers, and even house numbers based on this idea. They want to make sure they’re choosing numbers that bring good luck, not bad. So, understanding these unlucky numbers is really about understanding how people in China think about luck and how everything is connected.

But what are the unlucky numbers in Chinese? Let’s discuss them in detail.

Part 3: What Are the Unlucky Numbers in Chinese And What Do They Mean?

Here are some unluckiest numbers in Chinese culture and their meaning:

1.)  Four (4):

In China, the number four is really unlucky because it sounds like the word for ‘death.’ This makes people scared to use it. It’s a big deal, so much that many buildings in China don’t even have a fourth floor. They just skip from the third to the fifth floor.

Unlucky Numbers In Chinese

People also try not to have a phone number or car number with a four in it. This fear of the number four affects many parts of life, from small things like phone numbers to big things like where people live.

21.)  Fourteen (14):

Unlucky Numbers In Chinese

Fourteen is an unlucky number seen as even worse than four because it sounds like ‘definitely die.’ This adds an extra layer of bad luck to the already unlucky four. People are very careful to avoid this number.

They don’t like to use it for things like floor numbers in buildings or important dates. It’s all about the sound of the number, which in this case, brings a strong sense of bad luck.

31.)  Seventeen (17):

Unlucky Numbers In Chinese

Seventeen can be unlucky too, in some Chinese dialects, because it sounds like ‘a life of anger.’ This means it could bring a life full of trouble and unhappiness.

So, people avoid this number when they can, especially for important things like picking a date for a wedding or a birthday.

41.)  Seventy-four (74):

Unlucky Numbers In Chinese

This number is scary because it mixes seven with the very unlucky four. Even though seven isn’t always bad, when it’s with four, it’s thought to mean a sad or painful end.

People stay away from this number in things like phone numbers and addresses. It’s another example of how seriously people take these unlucky numbers in China.

51.)  Eighty-four (84):

Unlucky Numbers In Chinese

Eighty-four is avoided because it can sound like ‘bitter death.’ This is interesting because eight is usually a good number in China. But when it’s with four, it changes to something bad.

So, even though eight is often lucky, eighty-four is not. This shows how in Chinese culture, the meaning of numbers can change a lot depending on what they’re combined with.

Part 4: FAQs about Unlucky Numbers in Chinese

Q1.    What makes a number unlucky in Chinese culture?

Unlucky numbers in Chinese culture are mainly based on how they sound when spoken. If a number’s pronunciation is similar to a word with negative connotations, like ‘death’ or ‘pain,’ it’s considered unlucky.

Q2.    Why is the number four considered so unlucky?

The number four is considered unlucky because in Mandarin (and other Chinese dialects), its pronunciation is similar to the word for ‘death.’ This association with death makes it a number many people try to avoid.

Q3.    Do all Chinese people believe in the concept of unlucky numbers?

While not all Chinese people may strictly adhere to these beliefs, the concept of unlucky numbers is widely recognized and respected in Chinese culture. It varies with individual beliefs and the level of traditional or cultural adherence.

Q4.    Can the meaning of numbers change in different contexts?

Yes, the context can sometimes change the meaning of a number. For example, while the number eight is generally considered very lucky, when combined with four (as in 84), it becomes unlucky.


So, knowing about unlucky numbers in Chinese culture is really about seeing how important language and beliefs are in China. Numbers like four, fourteen, seventeen, seventy-four, and eighty-four are unlucky because they sound like bad words, like ‘death’ or ‘pain.’This isn’t just a small belief, it’s a big part of everyday life in China. It affects many things, from choosing phone numbers to picking dates for special events.Not everyone in China follows this all the time, but these ideas about numbers are well-known and often followed.

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