nyctophobia (nik-tuh-foh-bee-uh)

The decorations in my neighborhood are fun to look at and the people handing out candy are very nice.

Happy Halloween! I am excited to go trick-or-treating tonight in my Bellatrix Lestrange costume. For those of you unfamiliar with Bellatrix, she is an evil character in the Harry Potter series. I’m glad I don’t have nyctophobia, otherwise I couldn’t go out tonight or any night!

Nyctophobia comes from the Greek root nyct- meaning night and the suffix –phobia meaning abnormal fear of. Nyctophobia literally means “abnormal fear of the night.”

Are you dressing up this year? If you are, be sure to comment and tell me about your costume!

myrmecophobia (mərmə̇kō fōbia)

Myrmecophobia is the abnormal fear of ants. Image from baynature.org

Let’s explore another phobia this week! My friend Caroline commented that she is afraid of ants. The fear of ants is called myrmecophobia.

Myrmecophobia comes from the Greek root myrmeco– meaning ant and the suffixphobia meaning abnormal fear of. It literally means “abnormal fear of ants.”

Do you have a phobia? If you do, be sure to leave me a comment!

acrophobia (a-krə-ˈfō-bē-ə)

I had to overcome my acrophobia to ride this Ferris Wheel in Chicago's Navy Pier.

To continue our Halloween theme, let’s explore another phobia this week. I have an extreme fear of heights, also known as acrophobia. I feel dizzy and sick when I am in a tall building looking out the window, or when I am in a car driving on a bridge. Acrophobia comes from the Greek root acro- meaning top most, tip and the suffix -phobia meaning abnormal fear of. Acrophobia is an “abnormal fear of heights.”

triskaidekaphobia (tri skī dekəˈfōbēə)

Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number thirteen

Happy October! Since Halloween is coming up at the end of the month, I thought it would be interesting to explore different phobias, or fears people may have. Have you ever noticed that some buildings don’t have a thirteenth floor? That’s because many people consider the number thirteen unlucky. The fear of the number thirteen is called triskaidekaphobia.

Triskaidekaphobia comes from the Greek roots tris– meaning three, deka-, meaning ten, and the suffix –phobia meaning abnormal fear of. Kai is the Greek word for “and.” The word literally means “abnormal fear of ten and three.”

Are you a triskaidekaphobe? What are you afraid of? Let me know and I will try to explore words based on your fears.