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Facts about the number 5

The famous designer Coco Chanel thought five was a lucky number.
The famous designer Coco Chanel thought five was a lucky number.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 are the ten numbers that make up every other number! Five is the fifth number in the numeral system. It is a prime number and, on a chart from 1-10, represents the middle or median. Human beings have five fingers on each hand and five toes on each foot. The Roman symbol for five was “V” which most likely originated from the image of a hand with all five fingers spread out. Human beings also have five senses—sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. Many other creatures share these same five senses.

“Penta” means five. A pentagon is a figure with five sides and five angles and pentathlon is an athletics contest with five events. Pentagram, pentangle and pentacle are all names for a five-pointed star. Such stars were once regarded as mystical symbols that were supposed to keep devils and witches away.

Five is a symbolic number in many sports events. The Olympic flag has five rings—red, yellow, green, blue and black—that represents a color from every flag in the world. Five balls are thrown per team in bocce and basketball is performed with teams of five players.

Below are five facts about the number 5:

Five and Vowels
Five and Vowels Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Five and Vowels

Although the letter “Y” can sometimes be a vowel, there are only five permanent vowels in the English alphabet. These five letters are: A, E, I, O, and U. These letters are unique and are often one of the first lessons that English-speakers are formally taught.

Five and Punch
Five and Punch Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Five and Punch

The drink “punch” is named for the Hindi word that means “five.” Interestingly, punch is actually made with five ingredients: water, sugar, lemon juice, spice and spirits.

Five and Slang
Five and Slang Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Five and Slang

In Britain, a fiver is a five pound note and in the USA a nickel is a five cent coin. Five has also made its way into common speech with terms like “take five” meaning take a short break (or a nap, as shown).

Five and Construction
Five and Construction Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Five and Construction

The "Five Platonic Solids" are the only five convex regular solids that it is possible to construct. Namely, they are called the tetrahedron (four sides), the cube (six sides), the octahedron (eight sides), the dodecahedron (12 sides) and the icosahedron (20 sides).

Five as a Lucky Number
Five as a Lucky Number Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Five as a Lucky Number

Many people are superstitious and have lucky numbers. The famous French fashion designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel thought that the number five was lucky. In 1921 she chose the fifth day of the fifth month—May 5—to introduce her new brand of perfume to the market. She called the scent “Chanel No. 5” and it turned out to be a huge success that is still available today.