We’re all afraid of something. Sure we might not say it out loud, maybe its spiders, snakes, the dentist,public speaking or death. Budget Direct surveyed* over 1000 Australians and found 1 in 3 fear public speaking more than death. A fear of snakes came in third, followed by a fear of heights.
For me it’s dying in a plane crash, while its never stopped me travelling, I must admit I get all papal at times, and almost kiss the nice solid reliable earth once I get to my destination. I don’t think I am out of the ordinary with that fear. But boy there are some doozy phobias out there, and for those who suffer one in particular, this Friday is their nightmare. They are those with Friggatriskaidekaphobia, the fear of Black Friday.
I chanced upon this fantastic term in my research work for Budget Direct as I was pulling together a piece on Fridays being the worst day for car accidents in Australia. Looking at car accident statistics from the past 5 years Friday has the dubious honour of coming out on top of all other days of the week for claims made (16.5%). The safest days to be out on the roads are on the weekend (Sunday 10.1%, Saturday 13.5%), so maybe all those Sunday drivers are doing us all a favour.
As I tried repeatedly to pronounce Friggatriskaidekaphobia, it got me to thinking, what other phobias are out there.
A quick Google and I’ve shortlisted twenty of the more wondrous phobias, and the terms that go with them. If you’re a word nerd like me, you will adore some of these labels.
Deipnophobia: Dinner parties, dining and dinner conversation are all off limits for people who suffer from this phobia.
Nomophobia: This modern phobia affects people who are very afraid of losing cell phone contact.
Syngenesophobia: While there are certainly jokes about scary stepmothers or in-laws, this phobia refers to the fear of all relatives.
Anthophobia: Most people are happy to receive flowers, but anthophobia refers to the fear of them.
Selenophobia: Selenophobia is the term for the fear of the moon.
Asymmetriphobia: If you’re afraid of mismatched socks or asymmetrical objects, you have asymmetriphobia.
Ereuthophobia: The fear of red or blushing is called ereuthophobia.
Genuphobia: Knees can cause great irritation and fear in people with genuphobia.
Linonophobia: Though it’s useful, string is the cause of anxiety for people with linonophobia.
Papyrophobia: Paper is the cause of great anxiety and even fear in people who suffer from papyrophobia.
Cainophobia: Sometimes called cainotophobia, this is the fear of anything new.
Macrophobia: Doctor’s offices and holiday shopping trips must be nightmares for people who suffer from macrophobia, or the fear of long waits.
Ablutophobia: Ablutophobia is the fear of washing or bathing.
Amaxophobia: The fear of riding in cars is referred to as amaxophobia, and can cause problems especially for those living in suburban areas.
Chorophobia: Weddings and parties must pose lots of problems for those who suffer from the fear of dancing.
Ergophobia: If you miss a day at the office, you could try telling your boss that you’ve suddenly developed ergophobia, or the fear of work and/or functioning.
Mageirocophobia: Cooking is a source of anxiety for people with mageirocophobia.
Ephebiphobia: This term refers to the fear of youth or teenagers.
Porphyrophobia: The colour purple causes some people to be very afraid and develop this condition.
Sesquipedalophobia: This term refers to the fear of long words, and seems like a cruel joke.
So when you next invite some relatives to a dinner party, where the decorations are purple and your mobile phone has to be kept out of reach. Don’t be so surprised when some of your invitees are no shows.
Sources: * McCrindle Research Survey conducted 2014 on behalf of Budget Direct. 1072 respondents aged 18 and over participated from all states and territories.
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