Six is one of the few even numbers with good implications. There's a lot of speculation that this whole even-evil-female thing is a result of the patriarchy, but the symbology bears out so I'm not gonna bitch.

What saves six is that it's a perfect number. Being even, of course it is the number of "perfect femaleness". Six is the domesticated number; all that home-and-hearth stuff goes here. Six stands for the "perfect" mother and housewife.

Six is a very balanced number, untorn by inner conflicts and perfectly happy to stay where it's at. So naturally, "six people" are faithful, affectionate, reliable and hardworking, plus neat and loveable. *sniff* Reminds me of my mom...and on we go to seven...

Military slang: directly behind you, as in "six o' clock". To "check one's six" means to verify that you're not being tailed. I believe you can hear the urgent advice "Check your six!" in Top Gun and possibly Iron Eagle. I have no idea if actual pilots still use this terminology, but the rest of the Air Force does.

Six may be a "perfect number" mathematically, but there is an equal body of tradition indicating it as a number of evil. To Christian numerologists, seven is a number of God and perfection. As six falls one short of seven, it stands for imperfection and thus sin or Satan. Get too many of these together and you get 666.

At the same time, six counts the points of the hexagram (whether you take it straight or with a twist) and the sephiroth of Microprosopus, so it can't be all that terrible, ne?


ASCII Art Representation:

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Character Etymology:

One popular theory as to how the this character came to look this way is that an early form of the character looked like two hands of which the thumbs and index fingers are joined in a circle and the remaining three fingers are pointed downwards: yielding six free fingers with a circle in the middle.

However, earlier evidence suggests that this character was once written as a roof, which was itself a phoenetic substitute for a complex character meaning clenched fist, which was an old way of showing six.

A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: ROKU RIKU
kun-yomi: mu mu(tsu) mu(tsu) mui

Nanori Readings:

Nanori: ku mutsu roっ rotsu

English Definitions:

  1. RIKU, ROKU, mu(tsu), mu(ttsu), mu: six.
  2. mu(zukashii): hard, difficult; delicate; troublesome; doubtful; hopeless; stern; sullen; serious; technical.

Character Index Numbers:

New Nelson: 371
Henshall: 76

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

(rokugatsu): June.
(muika): The sixth day (of the month).
(rokkakukei): hexagon.
(rokubungi): a sextant.

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In the game of cricket, six runs are awarded to a batter who hits a ball all the way over the boundary on the full. Such a shot is referred to simply as a "six". If the ball reaches the boundary, but not on the full, four runs are awarded and the shot is referred to as a "four". These shots are roughly analogous to a home run in baseball, however there is no requirement for the batter to actually run as there is in a baseball home run. It is common to see a batter hit a six, and then remain standing serenely at the crease while the fielding team fetch and return the ball.

In cricket, most balls are hit along the ground, thus minimising any chance of being caught. The two-run difference between a six and a four is not usually considered to be sufficient to reward the extra degree of risk inherent in attempting to hit the ball over the boundary, rather than just to the boundary. For this reason, sixes are rare, while fours are common. Hitting a six is therefore an indication of an aggressive, risky, or just plain desperate approach to batting.

Six is the least coherent of Mansun's three albums. It varies greatly in style through the album, and there are songs which seem to be made of several different songs chopped up and stuck together, with wild tempo and mood changes. A listener's review on put it perfectly:
"If you like music nice, straight forward and easy to listen to erase all thought of this album from your head and go buy a Boyzone album. Six is an album of interwoven themes, complicated arrangements, eight minute songs, opera, and the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."

It took me a while to truly appreciate this album. It's the kind of album you'll pick up, listen to, think "What the hell?", put away for a few days, listen to again, start to like a couple of songs, forget about for a while, then discover again one day when you're in the mood for a change of music and become addicted to.

The album was entirely written in the studio - the band went in with a basic idea of how the album was going to start, a notebook full of thoughts and conversations, and a new philosophy of recording gained from two and a half years doing live shows, and worked from there. According to Dominic Chad, Mansun's guitarist: "The first thing we did was Six, the last thing the end of Being A Girl, and a lot of it was improvised and most was spontaneous, down to the lyrics - writing the lyrics on the spot a lot, that kind of thing... I still think Six was entirely a guitar record but people think a lot of synths but it isn't - we just really went to town with the processing of guitars. I was playing the guitars through old analog synthesizers..."

The album switches between slow quiet piano, contemplative guitar-driven pop and full-on rock - all within the first song, the title track of the album.

"I feel no pain...I feel no...I feel no pain, the Jabberwocky haunts me in the memory it's caged..."

Paul Draper's voice is beautiful, changing from soft and haunting to sharp and emotional, helped by a large array of effects and skilful production.

The second song on the album, Negative, is fast-paced, dark guitar rock with Mansun's typically eccentric lyrics.

"Son you tested negative, panic in your bedsit goes away...You converted to scientology to feel a part of something once again."

It's hard not to try to interpret the lyrics, despite Draper's insistance in Open Letter to a Lyrical Trainspotter, the secret track on Attack Of The Grey Lantern, Mansun's first album:
"The lyrics aren't supposed to mean that much, they're just a vehicle for a lovely voice...the lyrics don't mean nothing, won't right any wrongs..."

The third song on the album, Shotgun, starts with twenty seconds of hard guitar rock complete with cartoon sound effects, then segues into a brief electric piano, bass and drum improvisation, back into guitar rock, then changes tempo and time signature totally and becomes dark and brooding. This lasts about thirty seconds before the band kicks into a groovy, vocal-less riff which lasts for a couple of minutes before returning to a more rhythmic version of the earlier slow, dark section.

"The nature of uncarved blocks is how to describe what's hard to describe...vinegar taster says more force I apply more trouble I'm in..."

Inverse Midas is a slow, contemplative piano piece, providing respite from the more guitar-driven first three tracks. The last few bars of the song act as a sort of overture for Anti Everything, a slower, lighter guitar rock song.

Fall Out starts with the theme of The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker, with distorted, processed vocals, electronic percussion, and synths layered over it, then switches to more eccentric guitar rock.

"I know you're purely Marxist, your philosophy's so cool, with your tranquilisers, valium and gin... you talk of euthanasia, your breakdown was so cool, did Stanley Kubrick fake it with the moon?"

Seratonin is a short bass-driven rock song about depression and chemicals.

"Redux, redux, redux, redux - my chemist is the only friend that I've got."

Cancer starts with harsh, dark guitar rock, then slows down and goes through an emotional spectrum from dark and brooding to sad and contemplative. Draper's voice is at its most beautiful and wistful in this song, as are his lyrics of disillusionment and need.

"What now of my faith? Just a desperate exercise to limit pain... I am weak, I'm emotional and sensitive and frail...In need of some love, pull the cancer from the Vatican's own state... Uninformed, you will harbour those who nurtured Europe's War."

After Cancer, there is a short pause of around twenty seconds, before Witness To A Murder, which features a spoken word piece by Tom Baker and opera singing, providing an interesting break between the two halves of the album.

"All my life, what I mistook for friendly pats on the back were really the hands that pushed me further and further down; the more I struggle, the less I achieve. Deep, chlorine breath, minutes bleed into hours, bleed into days; something keeps me in this disinfected womb."

The second half of the album is slightly weaker and less interesting than the first, but the two together combine to make a fascinatingly diverse album.

and, of course, my own ears.

In Mexican jargon1, «six» is a common term for a quantity of beer. For example, I could ask a friend coming to a party to «bring a six»; or I could say that we’re «going for a six» if the party is running dry.

The term—as one might imagine—comes from the fact that many stores sell beer in 6-packs (either bottles or cans). A very dry definition then would say that a «six» refers to 6x12-pack of beer. But as it so happens with these terms, it’s not so much used for its accuracy, rather as a general term for beer, with only a loose approximation for its actual volume.2

«Six» then, also serves as an informal measure, not unlike the English phrase “a couple of…”. It’s not an exact number, but it’s more than «one or two». This elasticity, however, is not common to all beer-related terms. For example, another common term is «cartón» (lit. cardboard) but it’s most commonly used as an exact amount.3

Next time you’re around, bear this in mind: being asked to go out for a «six», while a sign of friendship, does not equate a set and predisposed amount of alcohol being consumed. Drink responsibly.

July 21, 2020 ⇐ Part of Brevity Quest 2020 (298 words) ⇒ 100 prisoners problem - solution

  1. And possibly other parts of the Spanish speaking world

  2. This has confused more than one international visitor here believing that «six» refers exclusively to the 6x12-pack of beer, as opposed to the 6x16-pack, or even the 4x16-pack. In reality, all of these could be understood to be a «six».

  3. As in, it refers usually to «the whole box» and is often used by wholesale retailers and then by end-consumers. The phrase usually mentions which kind of bottle is being discussed («cartón de cuarto/media/caguama»), so there's no confusion of the exact volume of beer being sold.

Six (?), a. [AS. six, seox, siex; akin to OFries. sex, D. zes, OS. & OHG. sehs, G. sechs, Icel., Sw., & Dan. sex, Goth. sa�xa1;hs, Lith. szeszi, Russ. sheste, Gael. & Ir. se, W. chwech, L. sex, Gr. , Per. shesh, Skr. shash. &root;304. Cf. Hexagon, Hexameter, Samite, Senary, Sextant, Sice.]

One more than five; twice three; as, six yards.

Six Nations Ethnol., a confederation of North American Indians formed by the union of the Tuscaroras and the Five Nations. -- Six points circle. Geom. See Nine points circle, under Nine.


© Webster 1913.

Six, n.


The number greater by a unit than five; the sum of three and three; six units or objects.


A symbol representing six units, as 6, vi., or VI.

To be at six and seven or at sixes and sevens, to be in disorder. Bacon. Shak. Swift.


© Webster 1913.

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