In a previous post I mentioned aibohphobia as the fear of palindromes (and which itself is a palindrome). Which leads to the question — how many things are there to be afraid of?
Lots. My Webster’s New World College Dictionary lists phobia as “an irrational, excessive, and persistent fear of some particular thing or situation”, and the suffix -phobia means “fear, dread or hatred”.
If you want to know more, I would recommend the website The Phobia List ( http://phobialist.com/). It has words ending in -phobia for each letter, and I counted 68 entries under “A” alone, including Albuminurophobia (fear of kidney disease) and Atelophobia (fear of imperfection).
I had fun with this once as a subtitute teacher on Friday the 13th. I drew a girl into a discussion of Triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) during our Advisory period. The rest of the day I would watch for her in the hall, and every time I’d see her, I would ask “What is the fear of…?”
By the way, fear of phobias is Phobophobia.