What are the lucky numbers and the unlucky numbers in China?
Why do so many Chinese websites use numbers in their domain names?
Basically, anything ending in 8 or containing lots of 8s is considered lucky, because of some rough homophonic resemblance between the pronunciation of 8 (bā, 八, in Mandarin) and the word for prosper (fā, 发, in Mandarin; I’m told the correspondence is closer in other Sinitic “dialects”).
And anything with the number 4 or ending in 4 is considered unlucky. Again, this is because the pronunciation of 4 (四, sì) is similar to that of death (死, sǐ). This is prevalent enough that many apartment and office buildings in China do not have 4th or 14th floors, and so many people avoid license plates ending in 4 that in Beijing, where each weekday two final digits are banned from driving within the Fifth Ring Road, traffic is reliably heavier on those days when 4 and 9 are the restricted plates.
Other numbers that have some connotations: The number 6 is fairly lucky because (again) 6 in Mandarin (liù, 六) sounds like “flowing” or “smooth,” (流, liú). You want to avoid 250 for some reason I’ve never quite understood. Calling someone 250 is saying they’re lame-brained, basically. Same with 38: Though it’s deeply, deeply sexist, people still use 38 (三八, sānbā) to mean silly or ditzy, because 3/8 (March 8) is International Women’s Day.
For the record, I find all these number-based superstitions silly in the extreme and utterly contemptible.
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