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Enrico Fermi lucky-horseshoe story[edit]

Perhaps we need the Enrico Fermi lucky-horseshoe story:

"of course, it's all rubbish. But the person who sold it to me told me OOPS TYPO SORRY it works even if you don't believe in it".— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 7 March 2003‎

and I don't believe in horoscopes, like a typical Cancerian! -- Tarquin 00:04 Mar 7, 2003 (UTC)

   To lessen the confusion of future ponderers of minutiae, i note that T. clearly failed to log on before saving the unsigned first portion of their contrib.
Jerzyt 01:53, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

Neil Peart[edit]

Neil Peart of Rush didn't come up with the phrase "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." It was Seneca the Roman dramatist. This article needs some heavy researching.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:31, 24 November 2005‎


I think Oprah presented a similar formula: Luck = Preparation + Opportunity (L = P + O) But opportunities come by luck, in fact I would say Opportunity is Luck. (L = P + L, P = zero, makes no sense). Therefore Oprah and all these other people who (along with hardwork, intelligence, etc.) got extremely lucky and became super successive are now using this "there is no luck" message to portray themselves as ultimate victors in a seemingly merit based life game, where everyone has the same opportunities/luck. Someone has to address the huge "random" component in someone's ability to succeed in life within this article, because this is what most people consider to be "luck" (bad or good).
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:50, 22 December 2005‎
Someone has to address the facts that "luck" can cause a perfectly nice, hardworking, intelligent, honest individual to FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS of society and end up in extreme hardship (and the other extreme can occur too).
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:53, 22 December 2005‎

Hmm, perhaps a better phrasing on her part would have been multiplicative (P * O). That way, setting either variable to 0 would result in an overall result of 0. And keep in mind that the phrase "fall through the cracks", which I certainly agree with, necessitates that there is at least something in which those cracks exist, that is, the system is neither 100% meritocritous or 100% random.— Lenoxus 19:49, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Western bias?[edit]

This article also seems to forget about the non-West. China, Japan, and presumably other cultures have a whole slew of other traditions associated with luck.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:41, 13 December 2005

Agreed; more non-western traditions are needed. -- weirdoactor t|c 15:25, 12 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Social section is useless[edit]

The Society viewpoint is useless and fuzzy. I know very hardworking, nice people who have terrible lives and seem never to get luck. On the other spectrum, we all know lazy crooked bums who are living high and well. The social viewpoint, as it is now, seems to portray societies as meritocracies, and this can not be farther from the truth. So much of life depends on the "randomness" in live, and this can also be called "luck."
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:46, 22 December 2005‎


"Luck doesn't exist." There are more variations on this phrase than can be listed here, but not enough to make believers care. It seems to me that end of this could be rephrased, as "not enough to make believers care" seems a bit insulting.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:24, 17 April 2006‎

Only if you believe in luck. Dodiad (talk) 09:50, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
   Ooh! I think the expression i'm reaching for is Snap!!
--Jerzyt 03:47, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

Quoting from "scripture"[edit]

There's a cultural bias there: at least mention *which* religion's scripture you're quoting from. Furthermore, not all English translations of Isaiah 65:11-12 mentions 'Fortune,' 'Fate,' nor 'Destiny.' It's an interesting nugget of information, to be sure, but it currently reads like a warning that was left behind for "fellow Christians" to stumble across. --Mozai 11:33, 7 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I like the quote from Eccesiastes and hope it stays, as it provides a nice religious and cultural context, and I found it useful. 16:29, 27 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article is Biased and needs serious rewriting[edit]

This article is more about "Why rationalists want you to feel foolish for believing in luck" than it is about luck per se. It does not express a neutral point of view. It is programmatic rather than informative. It is condescending. It is inaccurate. Nouns contained within it are not propperly linked to their base-pages in the WP. It is not properly linked in to articles on amulets, talismans, or other aspects of luck. It is, in short, a mess and a half. I am sure that the contributors brought to it the best they had to bring and certainly had the best of intentions, but the tone throughout is an "opposing view" tone, and that alone makes the article useless for someone trying to study the subject. When i have time, i shall return. Look for great changes at that time. Catherineyronwode 20:52, 20 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is bugging me so much, i have taken time from my work day to add more comments:
The fact that the arcticle BEGINS with a "rationaist" viewpoint is evidence of serious bias. Even the section "Spiritual viewpoint" is anything but accurate to that viewpoint.
For instance, within the Spiritual viewpoint section, the statement "In their original forms, the folk religions view mind, spirit and body as one" is condescending, colonialist, and, above all ot privileges outsider-rationalist viewpoints above both outsider-anthropological viewpoints and participant-aderhent viewpoints.
The following sections of the article do not -- repeat, DO NOT -- deal with the subject matter of luck, but present only a series of shifting-ground oppposing views to and arguments against the belief in luck:
  • Rational viewpoint
  • Spiritual viewpoint
  • Effects of viewpoint and beliefs
  • Risky lifestyles
  • Positive outlook
  • Effects
  • The gambler's fallacy
In dealing with folk magic and folk belief, ask yourself these questions:
  • If this article were about an organized religion instead of a folk belief, would you say that it accurately represented an adherent's POV -- or would you say that it attempted to mock, derogate, ridicule, dispute, or rationalize away tan adherent's POV?
  • Why is a person with an opposing POV tackling this topic in the first place and what is their agenda in writing the lead paragraphs of a supposedly descriptive page from an opposing viewpoint?
  • Is there a graceful way to relegate opposing viewpoints to the end of the article or to an opposing viewpoints page?
My response, when submitting this page to that series of questions, is as follows:
  • In no way does the first half of this article accurately represent an adherent's POV, rather, it attempts to mock, derogate, ridicule, dispute, or rationalize away the adherent's POV.
  • A person would write lengthy content filling a total of 6 sub-heads that dispute the material and place these paragraphs *before* the material that actually defines the subject if they had an agenda of promoting the opposing viewpoint. This violates the NPOV. Would WP wish to begin the article about the Catholic Church with 6 subheads' worth of content explaining that Jesus did not exist, that the Catholic Church is filled with pederast priests, and that science has disporved the existence of God? I think not.
  • Opposing viewpoints, if retained on a page, should be clearly labelled as such, should be relegated to the bottom of he page, and should occupy less than 25% of the total wordage; anything more must go on an opposing viewpoints page or run the risk of demonstrating editorial bias against the topic. In this case, the total opposing viewpoint wordage is suffiently lengthy that i do not believe it can remain on the page as-is. It is not badly written -- it is simply too long. A link to a new page should be created and the opposing viewpoint material moved there. The only question remains what to name it...
As i said, i will return; this is too important a topic and touches on too many people's sincere beliefs to be left in the state of disrespectful dismissiveness it is in now. Catherineyronwode 22:45, 20 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"rational" is the wrong word![edit]

The "Rational viewpoint" section should be perhaps be renamed to "skeptical viewpoint," as it essentially expresses the naive argument that probabilistic phenomena such as coincidences simply don't exist. Not only is this viewpoint irrational, it is unscientific and insulting to scholars such as Chaos theorists, who work at developing theories to explain such things as luck.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Crk~enwiki (talk) 17:03, 28 April 2006‎

It's not that "probabilistic phenomena such as coincidences" don't exist; it's just each person's definition/opinion of what *causes* said phenomenon differs. Good or bad things happening in clusters don’t point to a pattern; they are just that...clusters, followed by periods of non-clustering. Humans seek a pattern in the events that "control" their lives; "luck" is the same as faith in religion, in that you can't prove or disprove its existence, but it makes you feel better and seem like you are more in "control" of the chaos that is life. Chaos being the natural (and for many, uncomfortable) state of our existence in this universe, order is sought, through terminology such as "luck", "God/Allah/Buddha/Jesus/Zeus/Mother Earth/etc.", "karma", and other related terms. But wishful thinking doesn't make something so....if it did, I'd be a dark elf named Drizzt Do'Urden. My opinion is (as quoted in the article) that luck is "probability taken personally" (Penn Jillette) or "the residue of design (in other words, the result of bad or good planning, training, or preparation)" (John Milton), period. Weirdoactor 19:43, 14 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In a deterministic universe, where event a follows action b, luck is impossible. Given enough information all events could be predicted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:59, 10 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Isn't the broken mirror bad luck avoided if you don't look in the mirror (and even those who didn't break it get bad luck by looking at it).

Also, perhaps the idea that bad luck can be arbitrarily assigned to objects (e.g. the "spirit stick" in the movie "Bring it on") should also be included.

Finally, when I was growing up, whistling was bad (meant you weren't gonna have money) as was sitting at a corner of a table (meant you weren't gonna get married for some number of years). But that could've been local.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 1:03, 2 May 2006
yuliya 01:28, 2 May 2006 (UTC)[Section heading added & authorship of unsigned contrib claimed/acknowledged 25 minutes later.]Reply[reply]

Another suggestion: I think “*five leaf clovers” (in the unlucky section) should be either also in the good luck section (a Google search gave me a lot more results on the “more luck” than a four-leaf clover, although I know a Google search isn’t an argument). What I remember is that a five leaf clover is unlucky unless given to someone else (case in which it is then good luck for both the finder and the receiver) or specified that it's also sometimes considered lucky. I read this in a book, but remembering what book would be practically impossible. Pro bug catcher 19:55, 6 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Greetings all, I'm adding this page to my Cleanup Queue and will hopefully correct some of the issues that have been brought up. One thing I am not planning to change is rationalist. This section is fairly accurate to the rationalist point of view. I will, however, be changing "Rational" to rationalist so that it fits with the rest of that section. Skepticism avoids topics by saying that the answer cannot be found, which is an entirely different approach to Luck.
1-sent insertion added at 16:03, 2 May 2006 by Aces & Eights

I will also be making updates to most of the other sections and the initial paragraph. If you have specific requests or ideas, please leave them here as a sub heading to this paragraph so I can spot them easily.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Aces&8s (talkcontribs) 15:46, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Aces & Eights 15:46 & 16:03, 2 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So far[edit]

So far I've updated the rationalist and the spiritualist sections to make them more neutral and hopefully more informative. I'm looking for additional information on African religions, as well as traditional Asian and North American religious beliefs on luck to compliment the spiritual section. If anyone has this type of information, feel free to add it, or get in contact with me.

I only did brief look overs on the first two sections for grammar and wikification, once the whole article is done I will edit everything at once. If anyone notices anything though, please fix it.

I'm also looking for feedback on the first two sections to see if it is a fair considering the disputes that have happened so far. I'm interested in hearing both sides opinions of the changes. If there is no disagreement with the POV in the next week or so I will remove the Neutrality in dispute banner. Aces & Eights 21:11, 5 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Luck is superstition?[edit]

This article makes luck sound like a supernatural governor of fate. I always thought luck was the probability that something will happen, a synonym for chance. When someone wishes someone else "good luck," doesn't that mean that someone hopes the odds are in someone else's favor?" If someone says that they won the lottery by luck, wouldn't that mean that he/she won the lottery by chance? But I don't know. I used to think that "imminent" meant unstoppable. Jecowa 08:54, 17 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

hi jecowa, your thoughts sound interesting, i think you are talking about the intro paragraph mostly? Theres something confusing here i think, because chance is conpletely 'chancey', and luck is either the belief that it is not conpletely 'chancey', or the hope that chance will bring good things for you. is that what you are talking about, i think its insightful and should make it to the page Spencerk 15:25, 17 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
By definition, luck isn't chance, but more akin to fortune (which some believe is fated--IE, the opposite of chance). When someone wishes "good luck", they're wishing another's fortune to be good regardless of odds. (Luck is capitalizing on chance.) -RJFerret 02:34, 7 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that the article seems to imply that people necessarily believe that there is a causative factor determining luck, that supernatural forces can influence luck, or that people can somehow influence their own luck. While that would be superstitious, for many people the concept of luck does not include such non-probilistic views, but is synonymous with chance. I am lucky if I win the lottery, not because of my own actions or the will of gods, but because of my luck, experiencing the odds in my favour. Since luck is widely used in this sense, it is as valid as a definition. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:04, 24 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Luck, Chance and Fortune are all different words describing the same thing! And it's highly amusing that a Rationalist is shocked that anyone would consider Luck to be a "supernatural governor of fate" -- as if "the probability that something will happen" wasn't!
Nuttyskin (talk) 02:07, 19 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Move Quotes section to WikiQuote?[edit]

There is currently no page on Luck at WikiQuote: This seems like a more appropriate place. What do people think? --Captwheeler 02:57, 4 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So done... -RJFerret 03:12, 7 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Luck as a measurable quantity[edit]

This BBC story is about research that shows how people who consider themselves lucky generate the luck, without resorting to magic or superstition: [1], [2]. Zocky | picture popups 04:37, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Commercial external links[edit]

Just so we're all clear; no one should be adding bal external links to commercial websites to the article. Per policy, its considered spamming, and Wikipedia is not a vehicle for advertising. One link in particular link in particular keeps getting re-added, to a commercial site that generates lucky numbers/lotto numbers/etc. If the link re-appears in the article, it will be removed, and the user will be warned and/or reported for vandalism, per policy. Thanks! -- weirdoactor t|c -- 23:15, 6 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't understand why Richard Wiseman's publishers are allowed to keep the external links section of this page for his sole benefit? From the history you can see they remove or complain about anything that conflicts or competes with his links. I have seen good and relevant content that was linked to removed and if this content is not allowed to be linked to then niether should Richard Wiseman's. Where is the impartiality of Wikipedia here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:57, 20 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bird shit[edit]

By what culture or religion is having a bird defecate on your head considered lucky? -Toptomcat 05:11, 24 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed, I relocated the Bullet about "Lucky Bird Defecation" from the Good Luck section to the Misfortune Section. As humorus as it is, I think I can speak for the many when I say that It would be in foul luck to receive. Carlo V. Sexron 22:05, 12 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I know it is in slovan countrys on and near the Balkan.... --Mudel 18:50, 12 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Really! I guess that's a case of truth being stranger than fiction. Still, best to keep it out- some other well-meaning soul will likely remove it as vandalism simply because it seems bizzare, and we have plenty of good examples already. -Toptomcat 14:24, 4 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think this needs a source cited to some degree... I personally don't believe it. 01:54, 18 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In theatrical parlance, people say "Merde!" (French for shit) to wish someone luck in their stage performance, instead of actually saying the words "good luck", which are in this context supposed to be bad luck.
Nuttyskin (talk) 02:12, 19 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed superfluous external links per WP:EL[edit]

None of the links were purely about luck; one was about a town called "Luck" in Wisconsin, one was an essay on a blog, and at least one was some sort of scam. There's already a link to quotes, and I've added four leaf clover to "See also". -- weirdoactor t|c -- 00:27, 8 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


What about also describing luck as a mathematical outcome of possible unpredictable results the way that you would want to? Isn't luck probability resulting in our favour and so on?

I agree: I've been a gambler for many years. While I don't believe in "luck" as a spiritual or mystical force, I know some people who have consistently bucked probability. It's not that they win or lose in a fashion impossible to probability laws; it's just that they seem to have more runs of good or bad fortune than the average person. I don't believe in any supernatural force working here, but just that the sheer randomness of probability has consistently blessed or cursed these people. Any long-time gambler knows that good or bad fortune runs in streaks, too, and I suspect these people might have better random chance than others in happening to play when the streaks are going for or against them.
The first night I ever gambled, I turned about a 500% increase; but ever since, my gambling has evened out into a roughly 48% chance of winning against the house in my chosen games, and while I've been a consistent winner against the house and many call me "lucky", I credit that to a money-management strategy that recognizes these streaks and attempts to ride out the bad streaks and capitalize on the good ones. It wasn't the mystical "beginner's luck"; by random probability, I hit a streak then that I've seen many times since, but which has evened out over the years. If I'd never gambled again, or gambled little, that streak was "beginner's luck" to most people; the years have proven it was just one of many streaks of chance going one way. Can't some people have these streaks go on longer than I did, or more consistently, through sheer chance?
Isn't some rational view of the phenomenon known as "luck" from this perspective warranted in the article? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:40, 6 March 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]
[3] is a source for this topic. Zare wrote this article about luck in backgammon, but the underlying ideas apply more generally. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:58, 17 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Origins of Luck[edit]

Luck has probably been around for ages but origins of the word? I heard it was derived from 'Lucifer' --Cazoodle 06:54, 22 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • From Wiktionary: "Etymology - Shortened form of Middle Dutch: gheluc (happiness)"

Lucifer is completely unrelated, as it means "light bearer" in Greek and Latin. -Bredd13

'gheluc' is related to modern-Dutch 'lukken', which is a verb which means something like 'to accomplish' or 'to succeed'. Something is 'gelukt' if it has turned out well, which has its roots in 'gheluc' and the English 'luck'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:05, 14 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I removed the bit about Varkonyi. It seemed to imply that somehow his marriage gave him added "luck" that caused him to win the main event. That's simply not the case. Poker is a game of skill that relies on what some would call "luck," but that is simply probability and variance showing what they can do. Varkonyi is a skilled player (though less skilled than many of his opponents) who was in a situation where the cards just so happened to fall his way, for no particular reason. Mickeyg13 04:57, 9 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"a situation where the cards just so happened to fall his way, for no particular reason", I think thats what we call luck or being lucky. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:00, 28 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Luck is merely an expression[edit]

I feel that the last paragraph of "Luck as a fallacy" either needs to be changed to be more of an explanation of how one that sees luck as a fallacy would see someone saying "good luck", or it needs to be removed. To me, it kind of seems like its telling the reader what is or is not, rather than what believing that luck is a fallacy means. Rainalor (talk) 05:12, 12 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It shouldn't be removed because the subtopic is valid and has great writeups to support this in the Informal_fallacy category. It could use revision to better show the link to gambler's fallacy as it could be used to argue that luck is a fallacy. BaShildy (talk) 07:45, 23 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This article is mostly worthless crud, and an example of why the concept of Wikipedia is fundamentally flawed (ie any tool on the face of the planet with a web connection can create and edit pages). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:23, 11 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And post anonymous insults. --Thnidu (talk) 04:07, 11 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Why is this article semiprotected? Can't even try to improve the stupid thing, which is biased, rather lacking in sources but not lacking in opinions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:04, 28 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Scripture" Passages[edit]

I agree with Mozai, the passages included present a bias. Either include more "scriptural" examples of luck from other religious viewpoints or remove the whole section.Blindchaos (talk) 23:06, 7 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mermaid Luck[edit]

I went to the mermaid article and found no discussion as mentioned before my edit. I also did a search for Dr. Marvin Humburg and found nothing on him, not on Wikipedia, and no search engine I used found anything on him. Could not verify, so I deleted. Blooddraken (talk) 05:11, 12 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Four Pillar of Destiny and Luck Cycle[edit]

I have been informed that some of my links have been remove and I would like to insert back the links. Basically the link is to my blog which I discussed on topic of Bazi & Luck cycle a.k.a Four Pillar of Destiny. The analysis of bazi is base on the calculation of person date of birth and from it we can make an analysis of a person life, events that might happened to the person and you can even spool out a certain date to see how to an event enfold. I have linked wikipedia so that people to who click on my links can have a futher understanding of how the Four Pillar of Destiny reading is done. I have written the Four Pillar of Destiny on Edison Chen, Prince Harry and event like the 911 in my blog that will showed a further understanding of Bazi analysis. I do not mean to advertise by link to Wikipedia. I have make a several links to the Wikipedia on the specific topics or persons that I write on. If it is offensive to have the links there to some people, I regretted it hereby apologize for it. I would just link my page to Four Pillar of Destiny. JosephineJphang75 (talk) 08:18, 15 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Josephine, I appreciate you coming back to Wikipedia and commenting on our edits. You were warned because you linked to your own blog in all of your edits. Regardless of the quality of your site it is a conflict of interest and not noteworthy enough to be links in this site. You can quote noteworthy research or statements by people you feel are underrepresented in this or other articles. You may also link to your blog in your talk section and bring it up in the discussion section of this article if you feel there is a section of it that you would like covered in an article. But it is in Wikipedia's best interest to not allow people to link their own blogs in articles to maintain a neutral point of view and prevent advertising from this resource. BaShildy (talk) 02:11, 16 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Section on examples of good/bad luck[edit]

Shouldn't we add a section about good and bad luck? There's a Friday the 13th this month and my class is researching. On Google, it gave an example below the link to this page, but I couldn't find it. If it's there, could someone please tell me where, or quote what it says? Well, um... That's it for me. I think there should be a whole section on things like broken mirrors (bad) and four-leaf clovers (good). Agree? Disagree? (talk) 13:11, 8 March 2009 (UTC)A teacher in VAReply[reply]

There is already such a section in Superstition. I think that's the better spot for it. (talk) 09:09, 6 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changes to section on luck as a fallacy[edit]

Had to remove this bit:

A brick falling on a person walking below, therefore, is not a function of that person's luck, but is instead the result of a collection of understood (or explainable) occurrences. Statistically, every person walking near the building was just as likely to have the brick fall on them.

That's just not an accurate example of statistics. First, it confuses statistics with probability. For statistics to come in to play, we have to have a sample space of more than 1. Second, you can't say everyone walking near the building was equally likely to have the brick fall on them: you may as well say everyone in the world was just as likely to have the brick fall on them. The fact is there were reasons the brick fell at exactly that time and there were reasons that person was walking there at that time, and so they were far more likely to get hit. Unless there was some quantum-mechanical mechanism that made the brick fall, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't meant to be the hypothetical here.

Also had to change the generalised example of the fallacy. It said that the fallacy concludes that "A caused B" but that's wrong and "influenced" is correct. For example I may believe that my lucky talisman means that when I roll a die there's a 5/7 chance I'll roll a 6. When I roll a 6, I don't believe that my lucky talisman caused me to roll a 6, I believe that it influenced the outcome of my roll by making it more likely I'd roll a 6. Some people might believe that everything is caused by luck, but since this section is phrased in terms of everyone who believes in luck, it needed to be toned down.

The last paragraph doesn't really seem to fit well, nor be very encyclopedic in its language. "Luck is merely an expression" seems a bit unfounded. (talk) 00:32, 26 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK is there a difference between GOOD LUCK /GOOD FORTUNE?[edit]

Article doesnt say if theres a Fine Line between Good Luck and or Good Fortune is there? Are the two differnt 'animals'? Thanks!Dated/decidedGoodLuckarticleGoodFortunequestionP.M.afternoon,SatJuly25,200921stCent.Dr.Edson Andre' Johnson D.D.ULC.PINEAPPLEMAN (talk) 23:05, 25 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good luck Good Fortune the same?[edit]

Always wondered in ood Luck and ood Fortune the same? Or a difference? Maybe article could explain differences? Thanks!(Good Luck good Fortune amfrioct2200921stcentDr.Edson Andre' Johnson D.D.ULC)Edsonbrasil (talk) 17:10, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Telegraph article[edit]

Entertaining article in a mainstream newspaper, based on research by Richard Wiseman: --JN466 11:49, 15 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New page for Lucky Symbols[edit]

I think we should make a new page of Lucky Symbols. People like to add to lists, and this article has had such lists added and purged in the past, so let's just move it so it can become large without overtaking the page. It seems to be in-line with WP practice: Captwheeler (talk) 00:40, 17 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It doesn't matter where the list is, either in this article or as a stand-alone version. Any additions would need to be verifiable, notable, and referenced. To be honest, it wouldn't be a good idea to create a stand-alone list simply because of the constant effort needed to maintain and prune it. --Ckatzchatspy 01:14, 17 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it is a good idea, will do it now--Jemesouviens32 (talk) 07:28, 17 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Please don't delete the definition or blank sections. If you don't agree with it, think it needs references, or think it should say something else you can edit it. You can also discuss it here. Thanks. Captwheeler (talk) 20:11, 21 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks Wheeler, the intent of my edit was not to blank but I can see how it came across as such. The "three aspects" is what I wanted to modify as it comes across as a specific interpretation of luck which many of the sources that are posted in this article would not be in agreement with. The examples section you posted mentioned "Your car" which doesn't seem to fit with the tone/writing style of wikipedia. I'll leave the section as-is and maybe other people here can think of a way of improving it as your definition linking both chance and probability is a great short summary. BaShildy (talk) 20:17, 21 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The 3 aspects was my (marginal) attempt to explain how Luck was different then plain chance. I'll try and get better explanations, and citations, and see if we can't explain Luck in a more insightful way. Thanks for helping out. I'll add some citations and explanation now. Captwheeler (talk) 00:10, 24 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Great job, love the summary and citations. A NPOV definition was difficult to come up as there are many contrasting views on what this subject entails. I tried for a bit and put it on my to do list but no need now as you came up with a strong definition. Thanks! BaShildy (talk) 05:10, 24 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removal of references to Eskimo Buddhsim, etc.[edit]

There have been a lot of references recently plastered on Wikipedia, Digg, Blogs, about this topic which appears to be a hoax as there are no verifiable records of this religion even existing. If someone could prove beyond what appears to be a viral blog they are welcome to restore the content, however the page it links to in Wikipedia has now been deleted twice due to being a hoax. Also, while I am not an expert, my knowledge of the Arctic tells me that this does not exist. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BaShildy (talkcontribs) 02:21, 28 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Inclusion of Fortune Aviation[edit]

I'm not sure that this section, with the content as stands, is necessary. It does not relate to the rest of the article. Shiftout (talk) 21:13, 9 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lousy Logic[edit]

"It cannot be shown that luck actually exists, hence luck is nothing more than a word used by one in a self delusional assumption..." Similarly, it cannot be shown that NPOV actually exists (even though, like luck, NPOV is much talked about), HENCE NPOV is nothing more than a word used by one in a self delusional assumption. Whoever came up with that logic was most unlucky in the quality of their schooling. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:08, 19 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this similar to: "It can not be shown that god actually exists hence..." Is it actually possible to simultaneously rubbish every person's beliefs (religous or superstitious)- believe the fella that wrote this one found a way. Incidentally, could you please provide evidence that luck doesn't exist then? Or would you agree that 'self-delusional' might be a bit strong in light of the fact that evidence does not exist in either direction - hence to not believe in luck may also be self-delusional, by the same logic? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:54, 20 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edits to introduction[edit]

I removed the discussion of so-called "descriptive" and "proscriptive" luck from the introduction. First, the discussion seemed to be nothing more than a needlessly convoluted and jargon-y repetition of the relatively simple and clear statement in the preceding paragraph that some people attribute luck to chance and some attribute it to other forces. Second, I strongly suspect that this terminology -- which does not appear to be derived from any source -- is simply the author's own invention; this is indicated in part by the repeated misuse of "proscriptive" where the author presumably intended "prescriptive". This edit leaves that the statement that the word luck is "pervasive in common speech" hanging on its own. That statement seems obvious and unnecessary, really, and this really stands out when the other material is removed, so I guess it ought to go too.

There are other real problems here but this was the easiest to remedy. Does it really make sense to have an article claiming that something the vast majority of the world's population believes to exist -- luck in the "other forces" sense -- doesn't exist? So far as I know Wikipedia doesn't do this in articles about topics like "God". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:32, 15 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have restored much of this deletion. Although, I have corrected "proscriptive" to "prescriptive." I am a bit perplexed as to respond to this criticism, as I am in complete disagreement about removing that particular part. I would think that for any Wikipedia article about a concept, that we cover all relevant senses in which the term is used. The prescriptive and descriptive senses are the two prevailing senses in which the term is used, and so I am at a loss to understand how their removal helps at all. Greg Bard (talk) 07:27, 17 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dubious differentiation between Abrahamic and Meso-american religion[edit]

The article suggests that the Abrahamic religions don't believe in luck, but instead only in something like divine intervention, whereas the Meso-American religions believe in luck. The implication that is conveyed is that Abrahamic religions are less primitive.

In reality, the act of placating gods in order to be rewarded with a prosperous fate is well attested in both religious forms in more or less equal measure. Harburg (talkcontribs) 19:47, 6 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Belief in luck[edit]

Merge? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 02:11, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Luck in poker[edit]

In the subsection Games, which is under §Social aspects, this sentence

Players who consistently get the best hand, which either wins or a worse hand which draws to better, is said to "run good".

is a real mess. I'm changing it to what I think it's trying to say—

Players who consistently get either the best hand, which wins, or a worse hand which draws to a better one, are said to "run good".

—but I don't know poker terminology. I'm going to write to a prominent poker player I know for advice. --Thnidu (talk) 04:15, 11 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The expert (Steven Brust, who plays poker a lot; quoted by permission) says (personal email exchange even as I type this):

"Running good" is a real thing, as is "running bad," but decent poker players know that either one is a temporary state; that luck evens out in the end.  So you get, "How you've been doing lately?"  "Sucking at tournaments, but I've been running good in cash games for the last month and a half, so I'm not complaining." --Thnidu (talk) 05:33, 11 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The usage and primary topic of misfortune is under discussion, see talk:Misfortune (disambiguation) -- (talk) 05:35, 12 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I actually think that there should be a section in this article on "Bad Luck" and how it is used to blame negative chance-based outcomes, based on sources such as [4] [5], just as a couple of examples. InsertCleverPhraseHere 22:27, 13 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What a horrible talk page![edit]

   I don't recall how i wandered onto this discussion, but this striking early ... uh, ... contribution highlights my chagrin, et c. I'm going to further experiment with rescuing this tk pg from the malpractice of wiki-discussion it has sustained; perhaps i will find myself called to attempt improvements to the article, if i find any clarity abt what kind of process got us to wherever the article is.
--Jerzyt 11:04, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Etimology of 'luck'[edit]

I have been of the view that the word luck may have it's origin from the Sanskrit word Lakshmi also written as Luxmi

the Goddess of wealth in Hindu mythology or religion.In Sanskrit language and other Indian languages it is used in the context of good luck or bad luck.For instance the famous Carnatic Lyricist/musician calls Ganesha the Lord of obstacles 'Lakshmi' lakumikara' meaning O Ganesha -the giver of luck

There are many such references in Indian languages.we may therefore say the word 'luck' might have it's origin from the Sanskrit word Lakshmi Ramamurthy Kamakolanu (talk) 02:16, 22 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Etimology of'luck'[edit]

The famous Carnatic Lyricist/ musician is Thyagaraja.He sings"Lambodara lakumikara' in one of his keerthans. Ramamurthy Kamakolanu (talk) 02:22, 22 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Etimology of'luck'[edit]

The lyric /keerthans 'Lambodara lakumikara' was written by Saint musician Purandara dasa and d not Thyagaraja Ramamurthy Kamakolanu (talk) 02:36, 22 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Use of the word Frisian[edit]

Under the heading Etymology and Definition, the word Frisian is used. This is too general, as the articles are West Frisian language and Frisian languages. Sarcelles (talk) 11:10, 26 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


While the Japanese word 頑張って is often used in similar situations to "good luck", it means "Do your best", and from typically has nothing to do with the concept of luck. Should it be removed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:59, 21 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Greek: καλοτυχία (which means "good luck", because τύχη is a generic term) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:59, 23 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


On one hand, There is no concept of luck in Islam other than actions determined by Allah; but it is also forbidden to believe in luck as this is to commit the sin of shirk (placing other gods or semidivine powers alongside God). So, which is it?

Nuttyskin (talk) 02:22, 19 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]