Lucky Symbols

Luckiest T-Shirt Ever - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

I’ve never been one to have any good luck totems myself – no lucky socks for my exams or charmed shirts for interviews2 – but I do like this Threadless t-shirt with its collection of lucky symbols. Should make it certain2 2009 gets off to a great start. From left to right: a rabbit’s foot, a wishbone, a ladybird, a horseshoe , a four leaf clover, a shooting star, a maneki neko and the number seven itself. The maneki neko (“welcoming cat”) is Japanese; most of the other symbols are European or North American, while the number seven and shooting star probably have Biblical roots.


Lucky symbols which are missing (that I can think of): a black cat and numerous other lucky numbers. While Wikipedia is surprisingly weak on most of the symbols – the lucky 7 page is just a disambiguation one – it does its best to be authoritative on lucky numbers and numerology (“Numerology, as it relates to luck, is closer to an art than to a science, yet numerologists, astrologists or psychics may disagree” sounds positively lawyerly).

1 Partly because it just strikes me as one more thing to remember. What if your lucky socks were in the wash when you needed them?

2 Unless of course, the effects of lucky symbols aren’t cumulative, but cancel each other out. In which case, the eight symbols on the shirt would leave you back at nul points.

3 thoughts on “Lucky Symbols

  1. Yes, you are quite right – I thought eight was only lucky in Chinese, but according to Wikip:

    “# Eight (八; accounting 捌; pinyin bā) is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture because it sounds like the word “prosper” or “wealth” (發(T) 发(S); Pinyin: fā).

    # Eight (八, hachi, ya?) is also considered a lucky number in Japanese culture, but the reason is different from that in Chinese culture. Eight gives an idea of growing prosperous, because the letter (八) broadens gradually.”

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