What Is a "Kinesophobe" So Afraid Of?

Top 10 Unusual Phobias, Vol. 2


What It Is:

Pathological fear of motion

About the Word:

The root of this word is kinein, Greek for to move.

That same root gives us cinema (moving pictures), kinesthesia (muscle sense), and telekinesis (using mental powers to move objects).

What It Is:

Fear of sitting down

About the Word:

The Greek kathizein means to sit down.

Kathizein also developed into a term used in the Eastern Orthodox Church: acathistus literally means "standing hymn," because churchgoers stand while they sing it.

What It Is:

A morbid fear of sharp or pointed objects (such as a needle or a pointing finger)

About the Word:

At the root of this word lies an iconic pointed object of the ancient world: the Greek aikhmē means "spear" or "javelin."

What It Is:

Fear of being in or riding in a vehicle

About the Word:

This word comes from the Greek amaxa, meaning wagon - which suggests the vehicle that first inspired this fear.

Although it does not have a formal name, the fear of driving is a separate condition.

What It Is:

Abnormal fear of cats

About the Word:

This word comes from ailurous, the Greek word for cat.

Ailurophobes, of course, are greatly outnumbered by ailurophiles - those who love cats.

What It Is:

Fear of dust

About the Word:

The root word for amathophobia is amathos, Greek for sand.

Amathophobes have a low tolerance for the "dust bunny," a creature whose name - defined by Merriam-Webster simply as "an aggregate of dust" - dates back to 1966.

What It Is:

Abnormal fear of responsibility

About the Word:

Hypengyos means responsible in Greek.

In English, responsible shares the same root as respond. Someone who is responsible can be trusted to respond - or answer - to his or her duties.

What It Is:

Abnormal fear of poisons or of being poisoned

About the Word:

This word comes from the Latin toxicum, which means poison.

That same root gave us intoxicate, which originally meant to poison.

What It Is:

Morbid fear of crowds

About the Word:

The root of this word - ochlos, Greek for mob - also gives us ochlocracy, meaning mob rule.

Those suffering from the more familiar agoraphobia avoid open or public places (the ancient Greece marketplace was the agora).

Ideophobia
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What It Is:

Fear or distrust of ideas or of reason

About the Word:

The Greek idea comes from the verb idein, meaning to see.

That connection between thought and vision also appears in a phrase used to express understanding: "I see."




Seen and Heard