Thursday 21 September 2023





The NHS (National Health Service) defines a phobia as follows:

‘A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal.

Phobias are more pronounced than fears. They develop when a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object.

If a phobia becomes very severe, a person may organise their life around avoiding the thing that's causing them anxiety. As well as restricting their day-to-day life, it can also cause a lot of distress.’

The word phobia comes from the Greek ’phobos’ which means irrational fear.                                           

I suppose that most people are familiar with the more attention-catching phobias like arachnophobia, agoraphobia and claustrophobia, but there are many more, and some are very unusual. I came across one in a newspaper article recently. It was saltomaphobia, a fear of tomato products, usually ketchup. I could imagine how that might have arisen but would probably be wide of the mark.

Phobophobia is another strange one – it is a fear of phobias. Are people thus afflicted terrified by the thought that they might one day develop a phobia, without realising that that is the very thing they have acquired, and in spades, too?

 I think many people suffer from nomophobia – a fear of being without their mobile ‘phone. So afraid are they that they cannot be parted from it at any point in their waking lives that a phobia results. This phobia develops in early life, almost the moment a mobile ‘phone is placed in their hands with the words, ‘Don’t drop it!’

I can understand how lilapsophobia might arise. If I lived in an area subject to tornadoes and hurricanes, I’d be afraid, too!  I don’t think such a fear as that is irrational, at all. 

Phobias are real and can be extremely distressing. The following list is not exhaustive and some of them don’t sound real. I haven’t checked them all. It is interesting that my spellchecker skipped some of them, so I take those to be legitimate. To the list I would add triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13 and pteronophobia, fear of feathers. 

Do you know of any other phobias?

Ablutophobia: Fear of bathing

Achluophobia: Fear of darkness

Acrophobia: Fear of heights

Aerophobia: Fear of flying

Algophobia: Fear of pain

Agoraphobia: Fear of open spaces or crowds

Aichmophobia: Fear of needles or pointed objects

Amaxophobia: Fear of riding in a car

Androphobia: Fear of men

Anemophobia: Fear of air

Anginophobia: Fear of angina or choking

Angrophobia: Fear of anger

Anthrophobia: Fear of flowers

Anthropophobia: Fear of people or society

Aphenphosmphobia: Fear of being touched

Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter

Arachnophobia: Fear of spiders

Arithmophobia: Fear of numbers

Astraphobia: Fear of thunder and lightning

Astrophobia: Fear of outer space

Ataxophobia: Fear of disorder or untidiness

Atelophobia: Fear of imperfection

Atychiphobia: Fear of failure

Automatonophobia: Fear of human-like figures

AutophobiaFear of being alone

Bacteriophobia: Fear of bacteria

Barophobia: Fear of gravity

Bathmophobia: Fear of stairs or steep slopes

Batrachophobia: Fear of amphibians

Belonephobia: Fear of pins and needles

Bibliophobia: Fear of books

Botanophobia: Fear of plants

Cacophobia: Fear of ugliness

Catagelophobia: Fear of being ridiculed

Catoptrophobia: Fear of mirrors

Chionophobia: Fear of snow

Chrometophobia: Fear of spending money

Chromophobia: Fear of colors

Chronomentrophobia: Fear of clocks

Chronophobia: Fear of time

Cibophobia: Fear of food

Claustrophobia: Fear of confined spaces

Climacophobia: Fear of climbing

Coulrophobia: Fear of clowns

Cyberphobia: Fear of computers

Cynophobia: Fear of dogs

Daemonophobia: Fear of demons

Decidophobia: Fear of making decisions

Dendrophobia: Fear of trees

Dentophobia: Fear of dentists

Domatophobia: Fear of houses

Dystychiphobia: Fear of accidents

Ecophobia: Fear of the home

Elurophobia: Fear of cats

Emetophobia: Fear of vomiting

Entomophobia: Fear of insects

Ephebiphobia: Fear of teenagers

Erotophobia: Fear of sex

Equinophobia: Fear of horses

Gamophobia: Fear of marriage

Genuphobia: Fear of knees

Glossophobia: Fear of speaking in public

Gynophobia: Fear of women

Haphephobia: Fear of touch

Heliophobia: Fear of the sun

HemophobiaFear of blood

Herpetophobia: Fear of reptiles

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia: Fear of long words

Hydrophobia: Fear of water

Hypochondria: Fear of illness

Iatrophobia: Fear of doctors

Insectophobia: Fear of insects

Koinoniphobia: Fear of rooms

Koumpounophobia: Fear of buttons

Leukophobia: Fear of the colour white

Lilapsophobia: Fear of tornadoes and hurricanes

Lockiophobia: Fear of childbirth

Mageirocophobia: Fear of cooking

Megalophobia: Fear of large things

Melanophobia: Fear of the colour black

Microphobia: Fear of small things

Mysophobia: Fear of dirt and germs

Necrophobia: Fear of death or dead things

Noctiphobia: Fear of the night

Nomophobia: Fear of being without your mobile phone

Nosocomephobia: Fear of hospitals

Nyctophobia: Fear of the dark

Obesophobia: Fear of gaining weight

Octophobia: Fear of the figure 8

Ombrophobia: Fear of rain

Ophidiophobia: Fear of snakes

Ornithophobia: Fear of birds

Osmophobia: Fear of smells

Ostraconophobia: Fear of shellfish

Papyrophobia: Fear of paper

Pathophobia: Fear of disease

Pedophobia: Fear of children

Philematophobia: Fear of kissing

Philophobia: Fear of love

Phobophobia: Fear of phobias

Podophobia: Fear of feet

Porphyrophobia: Fear of the colour purple

Pteridophobia: Fear of ferns

Pteromerhanophobia: Fear of flying

Pyrophobia: Fear of fire

Samhainophobia: Fear of Halloween

Scolionophobia: Fear of school

Scoptophobia: Fear of being stared at

Selenophobia: Fear of the moon

Sociophobia: Fear of social evaluation

Somniphobia: Fear of sleep

Tachophobia: Fear of speed

Technophobia: Fear of technology

Thalassophobia: Fear of the ocean

Trichophobia: Fear of hair

Tonitrophobia: Fear of thunder

Trypanophobia: Fear of needles/injections

Trypophobia: Fear of holes

Venustraphobia: Fear of beautiful women

Verminophobia: Fear of germs

Wiccaphobia: Fear of witches and witchcraft

Xenophobia: Fear of strangers or foreigners

Zoophobia: Fear of animals

Zuigerphobia: Fear of vacuum cleaners




  1. I don't have any phobias thank goodness.

  2. That's quite a list and there are some crackers in there.

  3. I have a young friend who has a fear of buttons (on your list). Even before he could speak it gripped him. Normally a great mate he took against me on one visit and his Mum pointed out it might be the buttons on the pockets of my cargo pants. Covered those and he was fine.

    1. I've come across that one before. It doesn't seem possible, does it?

  4. It's certainly true there is a name for every thing. My fear is spiders.

    1. I don't like spiders but it's not a phobia.

  5. I think I am too normal, is that a phobia too ? But my father's sister suffered from Agoraphobia for years and was unable to leave her house. Couldn't even go to her mailbox.

    1. Agoraphobia is terribly limiting - your poor aunt.

  6. I think I may have obcursucelarophobia and I am sure that northsider Dave has Zuigerphobia!

    1. Well, I hope no ceilings fall on you. Our late great big strong black Labrador had zuigerphobia, poor boy.

  7. Acrophobia for me. I absolutely am terrified of heights. I keep both my feet firmly planted on the ground.

    1. That sounds quite a sensible phobia, really;-)

  8. Apart from being terrified of heights, I don't think I've got any phobias, although I might find an undetected one when I go through that list :-) xxx

    1. Fear of heights is quite logical, I think.

  9. Oops, I forgot I'm slightly claustrophobic too!

  10. No potholing for you, then! x x x

  11. That was very interesting and informative and I've been trying to think of any friends with phobias but can't. I don't like heights in that walking along a cliff top makes me uncomfortable. I think that that is a normal brain response against danger. However I will happily go over a cliff on a rope and abseil down it.

    I wonder what made you think of that post.

  12. I think self-preservation is a sensible response to potential danger.
    I don't know why I thought of phobias as a blog subject. Something must have triggered it:-)

  13. Socoraphobia is fear of the in-laws, but that doesn't sound irrational to me 😊

  14. There are things I dislike, as with other commenters, but when does a dislike become a phobia? e.g. I don't like 13 or walking under ladders, and avoid if possible, but I can put up with them, so they are mere superstitions. None of the dislikes have taken over my life.

    1. When dislike becomes fear it is a phobia, I think.

  15. I have a very strong fear of vomiting, which I see made the list. I will go a long way to avoid being around someone with stomach flu and I worry about food poisoning, which makes me extremely conscientious about food safety . . . As for the rest of the things on my "fear" list, they make sense to me - fear of water (I can't swim well and we have a lot of water in and around Nova Scotia, also I hate the sensation of not being able to breathe properly, which, hello, drowning? nope) and fear of heights (I always get dizzy up a ladder, so why on earth would I want to voluntarily ascend one, only to fall and kill myself??)

    I do note that there are different names on that list for fear of darkness and fear of the dark. I would like to know why!

    Interesting and enlightening post!

    1. I worked with someone who had a strong fear of vomiting. I also intensely dislike vomiting or being near someone being sick. I was lucky that my children were rarely sick.
      I hadn't noticed the two different words for fear of the dark - well spotted! I wonder why.

  16. Now that's quite a list! I really don't have any phobias, except perhaps for being a bit claustrophobic, but perhaps I need to take a closer look at the list. Another great post!

  17. One that was missed out was FOMO - fear of missing out;-)

  18. Hi Janice - well that was one long list ... I'm afraid I don't fall into those categories ... oh perhaps claustrophobia somewhat, and phobia about putting myself into a situation that would send me 'bananas'??!! Cheers Hilary

  19. It's a list that will continue to lengthen, I think, as we become ever more self-absorbed and analytical . . .


Thank you for visiting. I love to read your comments and really appreciate you taking the time to respond to posts.

I will always try to repay your visit whenever possible.