All 6’s and 7’s

Tech N9ne has said that the title of his album All 6’s and 7’s means “in a state of confusion and disarray.” Well, of course it does; that’s what it meant when Shakespeare (1595) used the phrase in Richard II…

But time will not permit: all is uneven,
And every thing is left at six and seven.

…that’s what it meant when Chaucer (1380s) used the phrase in Troilus and Criseyde

But manly set the world on sixe and sevene;
And, if thou deye a martir, go to hevene.

…and that’s what it meant when Sirenia (2002) titled their debut album At Sixes and Sevens.

Today, we’re at sixes and sevens, in a sense. The date is 6/7, and this post is all about the many variations of the classic math joke, “Why is 6 afraid of 7?” Think you’ve heard them all? Think again. You’ll be overwhelmed by the sheer number of variations that have been collected from the farthest corners of the web, but hopefully it won’t throw you into a state of disarray and confusion.

(Original)
Why is 6 afraid of 7?
Because 7 8 9.

(Purist)
Why is 10 afraid of 7?
Because 7 8 9.
Some folks claim this makes more sense, since 10 would be next in line.

(Dice)
Why is 6 afraid of 7?
He’s playing craps and his point is 10.

(Turkish)
Why is 5 (bes) afraid of 6 (alti)?
Because 6 (alti) 7 (yedi) 8 (sekiz).
In Turkish, the word for 7 (yedi) is also the word for “ate.”

(Greek)
Why is ε (epsilon) afraid of θ (theta)?
Because ζ (zeta) η (eta) θ (theta).

(Modern)
Why is 6 afraid of 7?
Because he’s a registered six offender.

(Anti-Joke)
Why is 6 afraid of 7?
It isn’t. Numbers are not sentient and therefore are incapable of feeling fear.

(Microsoft)
Why Windows 10?
Because Windows 7 8 9.
This was one of four jokes on the t-shirt worn by Joe Belfiore when presenting new features of Windows 10 at the Build 2015 conference. Microsoft never released a Windows 9 and skipped straight to Windows 10.

(Meta-Joke)
Why don’t jokes work in base 8?
Because 7 10 11.

Because 7 8 9 A.

(Star Wars)
Why is Yoda afraid of 7?
Because 6 7 8.
Don’t get it? Say it out loud using your best Yoda voice, and pause briefly after the 6.

(PG-13)
Why did 6 break up with 7?
Because 7 8 9 out.

(Castiel from Supernatural)
Why is 6 afraid of 7?
I assume it’s because 7 is a prime number, and prime numbers can be intimidating.

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• 1. Vincent  |  June 16, 2016 at 6:12 am

Brilliant! I don’t get the Canadian one, though. Care to explain?

Um, perhaps I should clarfiy: I know what hexadecimal is, I just don’t know a lot about Canada.

• 2. venneblock  |  June 16, 2016 at 9:15 pm

The joke is that a lot of Canadians end their sentences by appending the question, “Eh?” (pronounced AY). So there you have it.

• 3. Vincent  |  June 17, 2016 at 3:39 am

Thank you!

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.