"-phobia" redirects here. For the class of psychological disorders, see Phobia.
The English suffixes -phobia, -phobic, -phobe (from Greek φόβος phobos, "fear") occur in technical usage in psychiatry to construct words that describe irrational, abnormal, unwarranted, persistent, or disabling fear as a mental disorder (e.g. agoraphobia), in chemistry to describe chemical aversions (e.g. hydrophobic), in biology to describe organisms that dislike certain conditions (e.g. acidophobia), and in medicine to describe hypersensitivity to a stimulus, usually sensory (e.g. photophobia). In common usage, they also form words that describe dislike or hatred of a particular thing or subject (e.g. homophobia). The suffix is antonymic to -phil-.
For more information on the psychiatric side, including how psychiatry groups phobias such as agoraphobia, social phobia, or simple phobia, see phobia. The following lists include words ending in -phobia, and include fears that have acquired names. In some cases, the naming of phobias has become a word game, of notable example being a 1998 humorous article published by BBC News. In some cases, a word ending in -phobia may have an antonym with the suffix -phil-, e.g. Germanophobe/Germanophile.
Many -phobia lists circulate on the Internet, with words collected from indiscriminate sources, often copying each other. Also, a number of psychiatric websites exist that at the first glance cover a huge number of phobias, but in fact use a standard text to fit any phobia and reuse it for all unusual phobias by merely changing the name. Sometimes it leads to bizarre results, such as suggestions to cure "prostitute phobia". Such practice is known as content spamming and is used to attract search engines.
An article published in 1897 in American Journal of Psychology noted "the absurd tendency to give Greek names to objects feared (which, as Arndt says, would give us such terms as klopsophobia – fear of thieves, triakaidekaphobia – fear of the number 13....)".
Specialists may prefer to avoid the suffix -phobia and use more descriptive terms such as personality disorders, anxiety disorders, and avoidant personality disorder. Terms should strictly have a Greek prefix although many are irregularly formed with Latin or even English prefixes. Many use inaccurate or imprecise prefixes, such as aerophobia (fear of air) for fear of flying.
Charlophobia – the fictional fear of any person named Charlotte or Charlie, mentioned in the comedic book A Duck is Watching Me: Strange and Unusual Phobias (2014), by Bernie Hobbs. The phobia was created to mock name bias, a form of discrimination studied by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Chicago.
Keanuphobia – fear of Keanu Reeves, portrayed in the Dean Koontz book, False Memory, where a woman has an irrational fear of Reeves and has to see her psychiatrist, Mark Ahriman, each week, unaware that she only has the fear in the first place because Ahriman implanted it via hypnotic suggestion to amuse himself. He calls her "Keanuphobe" in his head.
Nihilophobia – fear of nothingness, from Latin nihil and "nothing, none", as described by the Doctor in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Night". Voyager's morale officer and chef Neelix has this condition, having panic attacks while the ship was traversing a dark expanse of space known as the Void. It is also the title of a 2008 album by Neuronium.
^Possible cultural factor: • Humes, Michele (24 December 2009). "The Way We Ate: Fear of Garlic". New York Times. Retrieved 17 March 2023. From the 1880s to the 1930s, a period of accelerated immigration and great social change, garlic was the stench of the flophouse, the dominant note in the 'rich olfactory uneasiness' that blew in from Ellis Island, and the go-to metaphor for immigrant neighborhoods. Its sulfurous tang was almost beside the point; the bulb smelled of foreign incursion.
^Possible observation factor: Allium#Toxicity — "Dogs and cats are very susceptible to poisoning after the consumption of certain species. Even cattle have suffered onion toxicosis." Cites include: • Cope, R.B. (August 2005). "Toxicology Brief: Allium species poisoning in dogs and cats"(PDF). Veterinary Medicine. 100 (8): 562–566. [Peer-reviewed.] • Rae, Helen A. (January 1999). "Onion toxicosis in a herd of beef cows". Canadian Veterinary Journal. 40 (1): 55–57. PMC1539652. PMID9919370. While humans appear to be relatively resistant to onion toxicity, there is some concern about the susceptibility of certain ethnic groups that have a genetic deficiency of G6PD. / Onion toxicity depends on factors other than variation in species susceptibility. Onions contain varying amounts of disulfide and SMCO toxins, depending on the species of onion, time of year, and growing conditions. Storing onions in large piles also provides a suitable environment for contamination of the crop with other toxins, such as mycotoxins, which could contribute to the disease process.
^Possible experience factor: • Singh, Zoomi (12 October 2022). "Potential Side Effects of Chives". Chives: Nutritional Value, Health Benefits and Potential Side Effects of Chives. Singapore: HealthifyMe. Retrieved 17 March 2023. Chives can be potential gastrointestinal irritants in some people. The reactive oxidants released by chives can stimulate bowel problems such as diarrhoea and acid reflux. / Alliums can cause digestive disorders. Chives belong to the Allium genus and have an acidic pH of 5.75. It is a pH range that would make gastritis worse. Moreover, the high fructans content in chives triggers acid reflux. It would aggravate gastritis.
^Frost, Robert (1923). "New Hampshire [poem]". New Hampshire. Standard Ebooks. p. 14. "But his heart failing him, he dropped the axe And ran for shelter quoting Matthew Arnold: '... Remember Birnam Wood! The wood's in flux!' He had a special terror of the flux That showed itself in dendrophobia."
^Schwab, Gabriele (Winter 2021). "Trees, Fungi, and Humans: A Transspecies Story". CR: The New Centennial Review. Michigan State University Press. 21 (3): 245–267. Years ago, I had a terrifying nightmare. I was back in Konstanz, my German hometown, walking in a beautiful forest adjacent to the lake. Suddenly, the giant trees surrounding me ripped their roots out of the earth and began to run after me, chasing me all the way out of the forest. I ran and ran, fearing for my life. Later I learned that my dream had its roots in an ancient phobia of trees called dendrophobia, a primordial terror linked to a sense that trees are more alive than we think. For those suffering from dendrophobia, trees have a paradoxical mobility that enables them to use their roots to grab humans or even kill them by willfully dropping their branches on them. Dendrophobia, an officially recognized mental illness that may in extreme cases lead to institutionalization, is linked to trees being recognized not simply as living beings but rather as hostile ones, intent on inflicting harm on humans or even killing them.
^Fischler C (1992). "From lipophilia to lipophobia. Changing attitudes and behaviors towards fat: a socio-historical approach". In Mela DJ (ed.). Dietary fats determinants of preference, selection, and consumption. London, New York: Elsevier Applied Science. pp. 103–115.
^Askegaard S, Ostberg J (2003). "Consumers' Experience of Lipophobia: A Swedish Study". Advances in Consume Research. 30: 161.
^Lanthaler M, Gütl C (2011). "A Semantic Description Language for RESTful Data Services to Combat Semaphobia". 5th IEEE International Conference on Digital Ecosystems and Technologies (IEEE DEST 2011). Proceedings of the 2011 5th IEEE International Conference on Digital Ecosystems and Technologies (DEST). Daejeon, South Korea. pp. 47–53. doi:10.1109/DEST.2011.5936597. ISBN978-1-4577-0871-8. S2CID14815713.
Aldrich, Chris (2 December 2002). The Aldrich Dictionary of Phobias and Other Word Families. Trafford Publishing. pp. 224–236. ISBN1-55369-886-X.