Talk:47 (number)

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Moved from article, until we have a reference for it.

Following on from this inside joke, one of the story writers of the Star Trek TV programme who graduated from Pomona College (Rick Berman? Brannon Braga? I don't know) "infected" other Star Trek writers with it, and as a result the number occurs in a subtle hidden way in every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager.

DJ Clayworth 15:51, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Sources include:
and thanks for getting me to collect these because the latter also clarifies that the writer in question is Joe Menosky. Moving the text back into the article. -- Timwi 03:30, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Good work. DJ Clayworth 18:50, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Man, it's kinda awful that this article has more information about Pomona College than the Pomona College article. -- 09:47, 8 Jul 2005 (UTC)

To Timwi: Thanks for catching the errant video game citation -- nice job... Coll7 07:50, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

On that same note, I wonder whether each of the 47s spotted on The Simpsons, Law & Order, NYPD Blue, Alias and Lost (and I add Scrubs to the list) are deliberate on the part of the writers or simply coincidences. ShutterBugTrekker 16:58, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Sev Trek/42 reference[edit]

I remember there was a Sev Trek comic that explained that 47 was The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything with inflation involved.. Does anyone remember this comic, since I feel that it would rather be a big contribution to the Star Trek side of 47?

It took place on the Voyager with Paris asking Janeway a question.. DrWho42 21:21, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

  • *pokes you* Look in the article. It's right there, next to the Berman quote. Also, it was Tuvok, not Paris. I got a bit of flack for saying what I did, though, because Sevilians didn't want to imply that the joke came from Berman. I worded it the way I did to try to make clear that it was the same explanation being referenced, i.e. 42 plus inflation, not Berman's joke being referenced. If there's another way to word it so it's clearer that it's the explanation and not Berman, I'm all for it. Admiral Memo 20:33, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Ahh, thanks, it's been awhile since I've read the comic since they've archived it away. DrWho42 02:36, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

It's in there, but it's not accessible to anyone on a text-based browser. Shouldn't someone write a longer more explanitory caption for it? I don't have the time myself at the moment.

TRiG 20:48, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

47 and Lost[edit]

I don't think that the connection stated between Lost's number series and 47 really should be included here, I imagine if you look hard enough you can make 47 out of an awful lot of series of numbers. Why not mention things like there being an initial count of 47 survivors instead?

  • I think the number of survivors used to be on the page. As for the numerology, many people get 47s out of Star Trek by computing number series. Admiral Memo 23:11, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
  • There were initially 48 survivors, but I assume that includes Ethan. I can't come up with any other example of 47 in Lost. -TheContralto 20:08, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

47 - Numerology[edit]

What about numerology? Anyone knows anything about this?

I don't think this should be included but a curious opinion from the notable occultist Aleister Crowley is found in "777" (LIBER DCCLXXVII.—Vel Prolegomena Symbolica Ad Systemam Sceptico-Mysticæ Viæ Explicandæ, Fundamentum Hieroglyphicum Sanctissimorum Scientæ Summæ) otherwise known as "LIBER DCCLXXVII.—A COMPLETE DICTIONARY OF THE CORRESPONDENCES OF ALL MAGICAL ELEMENTS" which is classified by the publishers as the result of "ordinary scholarship, enlightened and earnest". Under the heading "THE MEANING OF THE PRIMES FROM 11 TO 97" the following advice is offered for number 47: "The yoni as dynamic, prehensile, spasmodic, etc. Esprit de travail." Crowley, Aleister (1986). 777 And Other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley. Boston: Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC. p. xxv. ISBN 0-87728-670-1.  A preview of the book is available on Amazon and Google. It's also available here: "777 Revised" (PDF). Celephaïs Press. 2008. p. 134. Retrieved September 22, 2009.  Many online copies exclude this material.

*s and spaces[edit]

How come somew of the *s had spaces and some had none? We should be consistent. I changed them to all have spaces after them. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 47 Numb3r (talkcontribs) 11:13, 16 April 2007 (UTC).


Maybe 47 "...occurs in nature with noticeably higher frequency than other natural numbers", but that's no excuse to cite every appearence of the number in film/TV/etc. as evidence of something odd going on. For example is it really remarkable that 47 is the international telephone code for Norway when other nearby countries have nearby numbers (UK - 44, Denmark - 45, Sweden - 46, Germany - 49); or that New Mexico is the 47th state; or that there were 47 Ronin?

Maybe. The international telephone code for Norway isn't too amazing but the 47 Ronin this is pretty neat. No, every appearance of 47 is a bit much but some of the more interesting things (the whole Star Trek thing and, hey! no one wants to mention Bach?) makes a lot of sense. Say, and why is this article so very small, anyway? (talk) 01:19, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Confusing deletion nomination[edit]

An anon user created a sub-page to this talk page. Maybe I've done it wrong, but flagging the sub-page for deletion gives the incorrect impression that I'm nominating this whole talk page as well. If you know how to nominate only the sub-page, please let me know. Astronaut 01:59, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Never mind. It got deleted correctly - and damn quick too. Astronaut 02:04, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Regarding Image:S70.jpg[edit]

Please note that this image is Fair Use and should not be used on disambiguation pages, only on Sev Trek where the claim may be applied. See the above linked policy for further elaboration. ~Kylu (u|t) 02:51, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

If I get the author's permission to distribute it, would it then not be Fair Use, and able to be used in the article? For me, I believe it would be easy to do that. Admiral Memo 04:03, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
If the author releases it under a free license (GFDL, Creative Commons by-sa, or public domain), that would be fine. We still call images nonfree if the license is exclusive to WP. It has to be a transferable license. — Carl (CBM · talk) 04:07, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

47 Miracles in the New Testament[edit]

In attempting to resolve the "citation needed" tag, I did a bit of web diving. I can find no references to 47 miracles in the New Testament, even in fiction. Several sites (one, two) 47 is not a prime number it is proven to be composite by many investigators.

OK, I was going along with you until you said "47 is not a prime;" that's just plain stupid. Anton Mravcek 22:04, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Coincidence? I think not.[edit]

For some reason, ever since I became aware (and played) the game Hitman 47, I would often notice 47 in time. Most specifically 10:47. I'm not sure why, but after getting interested (this is a daily occurrence, very often I just glance at the time and the minute is 47, I thought it was just coincidence at first, but it happens so often, especially at 10). Reading here it says that this number occurs more than other numbers, and I think that is true, though only in time I can notice it's occurrence more than other numbers. (talk) 20:41, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

I think that just means your clock has stopped... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:12, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Replacement of copyedit with trivia tag[edit]

I'm not experienced with the trivia issue but it seems as far as "style" goes, this section is fine (after a few minor gm edits). Someone experienced with handling out-of-control trivia should help here. Belovedeagle (talk) 01:52, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Trivia and the in-joke[edit]

The article may be confusing in regard to the scope of the "in-joke" popularized by Star Trek. When it says "From Star Trek, the 47 was carried on into modern pop culture and nowadays appears frequently in...", that's not to claim all (or any) the following sightings can be attributed to it. Rather, I believe they're meant as "naturally" occurring trivia (barring new evidence to the contrary).

I undid the 1 Jan 2010 edits by Staecker "rm things that can't possibly be in-jokes" because there should be no implication that anything those sections is "part of the joke". I don't necessarily mean to advocate for inclusion if there's consensus those sightings were too trivial. To me, they seemed on par with the remaining trivia. -- Machine Elf 1735 (talk) 05:36, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

I removed them because the " In sports" is a subsection of the section " As an in-joke". So I guess you'll suggest that "In sports" be made into its own section. Perhaps in a "Trivia" section? But then it becomes a free-for-all of trivial facts, which is not appreciated here at Wikipedia. (See WP:TRIVIA and WP:INDISCRIMINATE.) Staecker (talk) 23:54, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you Staecker for pointing out that "In sports" etc are technically subsections. If they're to remain, they should be reorganized into stand-alone sections. -- Machine Elf 1735 (talk) 09:40, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
This list is ridiculous. Are we really assuming that every time the number 47 happens to show up anywhere it's part of a big in-joke that started in Pomona? How about some reliable references for any of the entries in the list showing that they are in fact intentional in-jokes and not just a number chosen more or less at random? —Bkell (talk) 01:33, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Okay, I just removed a bunch of unreferenced trivia entries that seemed exceedingly insignificant to me. Many of these, for example, seemed to be instances in which the number 47 happens to appear very briefly and inconsequentially in a movie or television show. Granted, there are many of these movies I have not seen, so perhaps the number 47 is actually a vital part of the plot; if so, feel free to replace it, with an explanation of why it is important to the film. There may be other instances in which the occurrence of 47 is part of the "in-joke" described; if so, replace it, but cite a reference to prove that claim. I also removed the list of athletes who have worn the number 47. There are only so many jersey numbers to go around; of course there will be some great athletes who happen to have that number. No references were cited to show that this was a particularly meaningful number to any of the athletes who wore it; it seemed to me to be just an example of the strong law of small numbers (or perhaps the pigeonhole principle). —Bkell (talk) 01:53, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I did keep those items (such as 47 Ronin) that include the number 47 in their titles, though I did delete references to some bands that were apparently not notable enough to have a Wikipedia article. —Bkell (talk) 01:57, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

(O_o) Bkell, I explained that none of these sightings are relevant to Pomona. (But kudos for Strong Law of Small Numbers). -- Machine Elf 1735 (talk) 09:40, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I've reorganized the article hoping this will make trivia unrelated to Star Trek easier to manage.

I notice 47 (number)#As an in-joke has been cross referenced: WP:POINT "If you think that this list of examples has become excessively long and boring... do not add 47 more examples just for the purpose of making it even more cumbersome". Maybe a Star Trek fan, the previous example was 42? -- Machine Elf 1735 (talk) 06:52, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

The fourth reference in this article - "The Mystique of 47". Pomona College. Retrieved 2010-01-12." - brings up a 404. Can someone update this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Terrorist96 (talkcontribs) 19:18, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Refreshed link as this page had moved to Also deleted link to, as this link was bad. link to;

is not working as of this writing, but I've decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. Related, I'm unsure of the value of an external links section to this article. Joseph M Warren (talk) 23:29, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Sports references[edit]

I think this section may be a little bit trivial:

NBA star Andrei Kirilenko wears the jersey number 47. His shoes are custom made by Nike and have "AK-47" embroidered on them. Scott Norwood's legendary missed field goal was from 47 yards out. North York Bluntz forward Tyler Madarasz wears number 47, and goes by the nickname, "Dusty 47."

Sports players with jerseys numbered 47 are very common, and most of them aren't notable. (Andrei Kirilenko might be due to also having the initials A.K., but otherwise, whatever.) And Norwood's missed field goal was obviously just sheer coincidence. All the other pop-culture references seem to be deliberate in-jokes by the writers, but these sports references look like just random chance. Lurlock (talk) 08:55, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

In Popular Culture, Music[edit]

I couldn't find Elvis Presley's Jailhouse Rock in the Popular Culture section, where music was referenced. I recommend adding it in.

XXBludnmunyXx (talk) 19:46, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

What does that have to do with 47? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 20:58, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
The song Jailhouse Rock contains the line "Number forty-seven said to number three". I haven't added this myself as I'm not convinced it counts as noteable. Joseph M Warren (talk) 23:38, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

47-year cycle of Mars observed by the ancients[edit]

I added The 47-year cycle of Mars: after 47 years - 22 synodic periods of 780 days each - Mars returns to the same position among the stars and is in the same relationship to the Earth and Sun. The ancient Mesopotamians discovered this cycle.<ref] [1]</ref] - Benjamin Franklin (talk) 18:35, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

JJ Abrams[edit]

It seems wrong to attribute Abrams' use of 47 to Star Trek - he was using it long before he directed the Star Trek reboot. The article even mentions how it was frequently seen in Alias, which began airing 8 years before Abrams' Star Trek was released. Also, Abrams was quoted as being more of a "Star Wars guy" before he signed on to direct Star Trek ( so I think we can eliminate Star Trek as being the source of him using the number 47. (talk) 00:10, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

    • JJ's use is almost certainly linked to a Star Wars reference; in the first season of Alias, there is a specific reference to "T-47s", in a line of dialogue that is something of a paraphrase of a line from Empire Strikes Back. (talk) 04:29, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

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