Phobias! (part 1)

Phobias are fascinating – aside from describing things hopefully not many of us have, the origin of the words can be interesting. Here are a few:

Aerophobia: deceptively simple. It is an abnormal fear of drafts of air, gases, or airborne material. Many people think it is simply a fear of flying, properly called ‘aviophobia’.

Acrophobia: I know a person who suffers from this, it is a fear of heights (think of ‘acrobat’). Acro– is from the Greek meaning ‘topmost’ or ‘highest’.

Ophidiophobia: here’s one that jumped out at me because of its unusual spelling. It means a ‘fear of snakes’.

Turophobia: it’s an irrational fear of cheese. I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like, so this one is very interesting to me. It comes from a variant of ‘tyros‘, which is Greek for ‘cheese’.

Triskaidekaphobia: having my birthday on the 13th, I’ve known this one for a while, especially as my birthday sometimes falls on a Friday. This is fear of the number 13 – buildings used to be built without a 13th floor (not one marked as such, anyway). The orighin? You guessed it – ‘triskaideka‘ is Greek for ’13’.

JOMO: we all know what FOMO stands for (Fear of Missing Out). Well, this is the opposite of that – the Joy of Missing Out. Missing a boring party or a disease would give me JOMO.

Coulrophobia: this is surprisingly common – the fear of clowns. The origin isn’t precisely known, but the Greek ‘kolon‘ means ‘limb’ with the sense of a ‘stilt-walker’, and from there it’s not a long journey to clown.

If you have any that interest you, let us know! And if you need assistance with correctly and professionally editing, proof-reading, writing support, or upgrading your spoken English, look us up at!

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