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Friday, October 30, 1998 Published at 15:20 GMT


Entertainment

The A- Z of Fear



Fear: derived from the old English faer meaning to take fright from sudden danger. Phobia: an intense irrational fear out of proportion to the danger and beyond voluntary control.

What makes your heart pound, hands tremble and spine tingle with terror?


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Anuptaphobia: A common fear in the 1990s, recently better known among women as the Bridget Jones/Ally McBeal syndrome - the fear of remaining single.


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Barophobia: Heavy limbs, tired lolling head, feeling like you are pinned to the bed? A fear of gravity brings you right down to earth and keeps you there.


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Chionophobia: With winter drawing near your time of torment is again at hand. You contemplate emigrating to the Bahamas as temperatures plummet - all to avoid that white blanket of fear known as snow.


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Dromophobia: Picking up a few things from the supermarket can prove an impossible task when the idea of crossing the street makes you weak at the knees.


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Ergophobia: Feeling like you want to beat up your boss and firebomb your computer? Relax and take a deep breath - you could be suffering from a deep-seated fear of work.


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Felinophobia: A long held superstition steeped in folklore - it's time to face up to your fear of kitty.


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Geniophobia: Does Jimmy Hill scare you to death? It could be down to your fear of chins. If you suffer from genuphobia as well, things are made 22 times worse when the England squad jog on the pitch revealing their scary, hairy knees.


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Helminthophobia: You stare at your slowly undulating stomach petrified of the seething mass you know is breeding inside. Your doctor tries to reassure you with the words "Don't be silly you're not really infested with worms - it's just a bit of indigestion."


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Iatrophobia: But perhaps it's the doctor that inspires you with real terror, with his white coat, stethoscope, cold hands and bedside manner.


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Jumping: Bungee jumping is your worst nightmare - suffering from catapedaphobia means that you are scared of jumping off anything - even the bottom step.


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Kenophobia: A desert island holds no appeal and even an all-expenses paid weekend in the wild glens of Scotland can't pull you away from that packed commuter train. You suffer from a fear of empty spaces.


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Lalophobia: You've got a reputation for being the strong silent type. While others are nattering about the latest office gossip you maintain a dignified silence. Still waters run deep? Or just petrified of speaking?


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Meteorophobia: Attacks from outer space and natural disasters are scary enough - but combining the two? After Bruce Willis' Armageddon people all over the planet will be keeping one wary eye on the sky.


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Noctophobia: Your mum has turned out the hall light and plunged your bedroom into the inky uncertainty of night time. You pull the sheet over your head in the belief that if you can't see them - the monsters can't see you ... only you know it's not true.


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Pogonophobia: If the thought of Rolf Harris and David Bellamy makes you shudder - then you could suffer from a fear of beards. But you really have nothing to fear but fear itself - if you are phobophobic that is.


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Quiet: Sssh, you love the peace and quiet so much that sometimes even the sound of your own voice makes you jump. Some might say you were phonophobic, but if you were, you'd be too scared to make a noise to answer.


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Rhypophobia: The thought of someone wiping their muddy feet on your doormat makes a thin film of sweat break out on your upper lip. You have a fear of filth.


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Scopophobia: Are you lookin' at me? Are you lookin' at me? I said are you lookin' at me? Best not to mess with people who are scared of being looked at.


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Triskadekaphobia:Scared of the number 13? You're not alone - most tower blocks still miss out the 13th floor and restaurants often keep a dummy diner to bring out when the 14th member of a party fails to show up.


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Uranophobia: Most people are scared of the fiery pits of hell but for you it's the other place that inspires real dread. You just can't stand all that celestial music and angels on fluffy clouds.


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Venustraphobia: Ever shudder with revulsion when Miss World happened to be on the TV or get a nauseous feeling while watching catwalk models strut their stuff? Well it could be down to a fear of beautiful women.


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Xanthophobia: If Van Gogh's sunflowers or the thought of egg yolks make your hands clammy then no one should mention the word yellow around you.


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Zoophobia: A trip to the wildlife park holds untold hazards but even looking out the window and spotting next door's cat can make you catatonic - if you suffer from a fear of animals.




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