Sometimes animals you see every day and regard as ordinary
Ever wished there were a technical name to legitimize your irrational fear of, say, bread (sorry, that’s not on this list–but it easily could be). Phobias come in all shapes and sizes. As odd as individual people are, this bizarreness is reflected in the many fears that plague them. With a little knowledge of Greek roots, you can go ahead and make your unique phobia more…official sounding.
1. Turophobia (Fear of Cheese)
Many people’s favorite food causes others to squirm, gag, and play the avoidance game at all costs. It’s not as if people with turophobia are afraid of a giant block of Swiss coming to attack them in the night. Rather, they’re afraid of making seemingly harmless contact with the curdled substance.
2. Pogonophobia (Fear of Beards)
Perhaps it’s because they can hide such a large portion of one’s face–who knows what kind of sinister objects people with large beards might be hiding in there.
3. Automatonophobia (Fear of Anything Resembling a Sentient Being)
What does this even entail, one might wonder? It might not be as out there as you think. Not far off from the rampant fear of clowns, people with this phobia get scared of ventriloquist puppets (fear of puppets, by the way, is pupaphobia), anything of human form in a wax museum, and even mannequins. Of course, don’t forget human-looking robots (automaton is the first half of the term, after all).
4. Agyrophobia (Fear of Crossing the Street)
Use this to come up with your own punch line for “Why did the chicken cross the road?” This is a serious fear, however, as it often prevents sufferers from attending crowded events—it’s more about difficulty moving in large group of people rather than of cars alone.
5. Cherophobia (Fear of Happiness)
I guess this makes sense when you think of good fortune like Shakespeare and his pals did as a wheel that turns you up and down when it comes to luck and good cheer—when you’re happiest, you know you’re on the brink of dipping into misery again, soon.
6. Gynophobia (Fear of Women)
A very vaginal sounding word (we all know what “gyno” means), this fear perhaps winds up in people who take the whole Christian creation story a little too seriously.
7. Omphalophobia (Fear of Navels)
Since your navel comes from doctors detaching your umbilical cord from your mother when you’re first born, it makes sense to shy away from it. It reminds you of both your mortality and your slimiest (hopefully) time in existence.
8. Oikophobia (Fear of the Home and Home Appliances)
Though this word often translates to the likes of xenophilia (the love of traveling to foreign places—and the opposite of xenophobia, which is fear of “alien” people/cultures), it can also apply to the simple fear of one’s washing machine. I mean, you didn’t make that machine, and it’s unlikely you’d know how to repair it in the event of it breaking. In other words, if it starts to go rogue on you, you’re powerless to stop it…which is scary.
9. Phobophobia (Fear of Having a Phobia)
Ah, the fear of fear itself—always a poetic concept, psychiatrists tend to try and “cure” it (or at least, subdue it) these days with the likes of Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin, as they would with a generalized anxiety disorder.