The word Phobia itself derives from the Greek Phobos, which means “fear, flight, panic.”
Oxford lists 1786 as the first known English use of the word phobia.
There are more phobias in the world than there are names for phobias, and if you yourself have a phobia — a true phobia — or if you know somebody who does, you know that they’re no joke.
A phobia is not just a fear: it’s an inordinate fear, an extreme fear, an exceptional, irrational fear that scares the phobic out of all normal proportion — and that’s why phobias are classified psychologically as a type of neurosis.
Here are three unusual phobias with three outrageous names:
An inordinate fear of failure.
It comes from the Greek kakorrhaphia, which means “a clever or devious plot or plan.” That, in turn, is derived from the Greek kakos, meaning bad or evil.
An inordinate fear of sitting down.
It derives from the Greek word kathizein, which, as you would suspect, means to sit down.
An inordinate fear of the Number of the Beast: 666
From the Greek words hexakósioi, which means six hundred, hexékonta, which means sixty, and hex, which means six.
The phobia itself is rooted in the totally overblown, completely nonsensical Book of Revelation, Chapter 13, Verse 18, where 666 is said to represent the Number of the Beast — i.e. Satan, or the Anti-Christ.