Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Are You A Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobic?

Phobias. A testament to mankind's foibles. Exhibit one: a hapless dental surgeon with ergasiophobia (a fear of operating).

If you're like me and yell at kids to get off your lawn, you might have a fear of youth – ephebiphobia. Personally I don't think I suffer from anything other than memories of missing pink flamingos.

The next time you see a person with a full beard, you may justifiably wonder if he has geniophobia (the fear of chins). Ask him to touch yours. If he won't, he's a prime candidate. On the other hand, if you are invited to touch his beard in return and you break out in a sweat and start hyperventilating, perhaps you have a fear of beards (pogonophobia).

House painters who only paint white may have chromophobia (the fear of color) unless they also have leukophobia, which is the fear of white. In which case they either don't look at where they're painting or they only paint clear lacquer. Then, I suppose, they'd be limited to painting glass houses... (Moving on; before I get trapped in this paragraph...)

I once had a tanning salon client who had to take the mirrors out of her tanning booth cubicles. Naturally, I asked her if it was because her customers had eisoptrophobia (fear of mirrors), but she assured me it was because the body builders would stay in the cubicle forever, after their tanning session, flexing and admiring their muscles.

If you are shopping for a phobia, here's one that caught my interest: ergophobics have an exaggerated anxiety about work, whether they're in the workplace, called upon to do work or have to face anything associated with a typical workday. Gotta check the disability clause in my insurance policy for this one. 

And the king of all kings – phobophobia is the fear of phobias. In other words, it's the fear of fear. I hope I don't catch that one. Not that I'm afraid I will... really...

Oh, and hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia? It's the fear of long words, of course.

You can find an exhaustive list of phobias here!


  1. No I am not Rand, but I did eat one once.

  2. Haha, so that's what happened! Thanks for the comment Mike.

  3. It's a wonder we haven't heard more about these in weird court cases. I'd think they'd be quite spectacular as a defense.

  4. "Your honor, the defendant couldn't possibly have been in Chinatown that night, he has a well documented fear of chopsticks (consecotaleophobia)."