17 Names Of Phobias And Their Meanings: Common And Weird Phobias

Are You Afraid Of The… Escalator? These “Weird” Phobias Are More Common Than You Think

October 12, 2020 Updated October 13, 2020

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Fear. It’s often paralyzing and sometimes irrational. We aren’t always ready to classify our fears as a “phobia” but they might actually be just that. If you’ve thrown up the night before every dentist appointment you’ve ever had, you might have a mild case of dentophobia (fear of dentists). If, like millions of other people, you hesitate at the top of the escalator, that’s normal, too. Bathmophobia is the fear of stairs or steep slopes. (Though, if you really have bathmophobia, you’ll probably just walk to the other end of the mall and take the elevator, instead of powering through.)

That feeling of a pit in your stomach any time you have to speak in front of a crowd? That might be the very inkling of glossophobia, which is the fear of public speaking. People who live with androphobia, fear of men, typically avoid all men all the time and feel a sense of terror when they’re in male presence.

Our fears, on the surface, might seem irrational. But, they’re usually caused by something. You hesitate on the escalator because of your mom’s story about that one girl who fell down and got stuck at the bottom. You hate the dentist because that first cavity as a kiddo was a doozy. And we fear men because, well… we watch the news?

There’s an entire laundry list of phobias. Some are pretty common. Everyone knows about agoraphobia and arachnophobia. Others are much more unique and unheard of. So we went ahead and made a list of both common and uncommon phobias. Do you think you might live with any of these?

Most Common Phobias

Acrophobia
Fear of heights. For some people, this can look like the uncontrollable urge to get away from the height but may result in panic attacks or agitation that may impair their sense of judgement.

Agoraphobia
Fear of public spaces or crowds. We’re all pretty familiar with this one — we often see it portrayed in movies by someone who is a complete shut-in. People who have learned to control their agoraphobia might be out living everyday life but still avoid places like malls, concerts, or well-attended football games.

Arachnophobia
Fear of spiders. A good chunk of America will say they have arachnophobia, right? Kim Kardashian West, for example, has documented her phobia on countless episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Astraphobia
Fear of thunder and lightning. Next time your dog sidles up to you in the middle of a storm, you can diagnose him with this one.

Autophobia
Fear of being alone. Most of us dread the thought of dying alone but still relish a bit of alone time from time to time. This is much more severe a situation — if you have autophobia you probably never, ever want to be alone.

Claustrophobia
Fear of confined or crowded spaces. This most often presents itself during elevator rides or CT scans. But, it often affects people on planes, too!

Hemophobia
Fear of blood. If you pass out at the sight of having your blood taken or your kid’s bloody scraped knee, you might have hemophobia.

Hydrophobia
Also known as aquaphobia, this phobia presents as the fear of water. This is a confusing one and can take varying forms in different people. If you have hydrophobia, are you so terrified of water that you don’t even take baths or showers… or just don’t like to have the water hit your face? Or are you just overcome with dread at the sight of larger bodies of water?

Ophidiophobia
Fear of snakes. It’s us!

Pteromerhanophobia/Aerophobia
Fear of flying. There are actually several names for the fear of flying. That’s partly because there are so many ways to be afraid of flying. Are you fine in a helicopter or on a trapeze but hate riding in plane? Or do you only hate flying in airplanes? Depending on your answers, you could be diagnosed in various ways.

Trypanophobia
Fear of needles or injections. This can also sometimes present similarly to “Aichmophobia” which is the fear of needles or pointed objects.

Zoophobia
Fear of animals. Can you imagine a life without animals? Probably not. For people with zoophobia, though, imagining a life with animals is downright terrifying.

Unique And Weird Phobias

Alektorophobia
Fear of chickens

Anthophobia
Fear of flowers.

Octophobia
Fear of the figure 8.

Onomatophobia
Fear of names

Pogonophobia
Fear of beards