The fear of chickens; probably from the Greek αλέκτορας, meaning ‘cock’ or ‘rooster’.
The Spanish have a wider range of foods flavoured with almonds than any other country in the world.
Bats are the only mammals that can fly, but a quarter of all species of mammals are bats.
Aerodontia is the branch of dentistry dealing with dental problems caused by flying.
Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, plums, apples and pears are all kinds of rose.
In order to gain one pound in weight, a seal has to indirectly consume 10,000 pounds of tiny marine plants called phytoplankton. The 10,000 pounds of phytoplankton are eaten by 1000 pounds of tiny marine animals called zooplankton, which in turn are eaten by 100 pounds of small fish such as herring or anchovies, which provide food for 10 pounds of larger fish, which are eaten by the aforementioned seal.
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Thassophobia is the fear of sitting.
Papyrophobia is the fear of paper.
Ecophobia is the fear of home.
Euphobia is the fear of hearing good news.
Brontophobia is the fear of storms.
Deipnophobia is the fear of dinner party conversations.
The name of the Hehe tribe of Tanzania comes from their feared ‘hee-hee’ battle cry.
Taphephobia is the fear of being buried alive. A phobia which sounds surprisingly natural. The great 18th century clown Grimaldi was so frightened of being buried alive that he specified his head must be cut off first, which his family duly arranged.
Both dogs and horses can smell fear in humans.
When Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was asked what he feared most he said: “Events, dear boy, events…”
In several areas in Papua New Guinea, women can be punished by public gang rape, often sanctioned by elders.
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Firearms instructor and writer Colonel Jeff Cooper claimed to have coined the word hoplophobia in 1962 to describe a “mental disturbance characterized by irrational aversion to weapons”.
Cooper attributed this behaviour to an irrational fear of firearms and other forms of weaponry. He stated that “the most common manifestation of hoplophobia is the idea that instruments possess a will of their own, apart from that of their user.”
The meaning and usage ascribed by Cooper falls outside of the medical definitions of true specific phobias.
For example, specific phobias require that the person be aware and acknowledge that their fear is irrational, and usually causes some kind of functional impairment. True medical phobias of firearms and other weapons can exist, but are unusual.
“People with guns don’t understand. That’s why they get guns, too many misunderstandings.”
– Jerry Seinfeld
When looked at objectively, it could be argued that a phobia of firearms – even though it is hard to diagnose a true medical fear such as hoplophobia – is not that irrational especially when compared to, say, the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth (known as Arachibutyrophobia). Since almost all, if not all firearms have the potential to be lethal, the irrationality of the fear of those instruments diminishes enormously.
“Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Obviously. If you believe guns kill people out of their own volition you should see a specialist in mental health. People kill people. There’s the clue. It turns out to be quite obvious that people can’t be trusted with those instruments – so why are firearms still legal? How many children a year are killed by their father’s stash of arsenic or stick of gelignite?”
– anonymous source from the bloggersphere
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Human beings are born with only two inbuilt fears: the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. All other fears are abnormal and have to be learned.
The Code of Hammurabi written around 1700 BC is widely considered to be the earliest known mention of lesbians in surviving historical documents. The code makes reference to women called the salzikrum literally translated as ‘daughter-men’ who were allowed to marry other women. Coincidentally, the code also contains the earliest mention of a transgender person.
In a 17th century law code for the Puritan colony of New Haven in present-day Connecticut so-called “blasphemers, homosexuals and masturbators” were eligible for the death penalty.
Bell, Broomstick, Bubble, Cargo, Circle, Dirndl, Hobble, Rah-Rah and Scooter are all different kinds of skirts.
Ten yards of cloth were used for the white ruffs around the neck and hands on a dress made for Queen Elizabeth in 1565.
Nyctophobia is the fear of darkness. Lygophilia is the love of darkness.
In Danish, a bog-handel is a bookseller, fag-litteratur means ‘non-fiction’, removal men are called flytte-folk and a bag-rude is a rear-window.
The third commonest cause of death at work in the US is murder. In 2007, 677 people were murdered at work – including 50 policemen and 205 salespeople.
Alexander Graham Bell believed that moonlight was dangerous.
The more brightly coloured the frog, the more dangerous it is.
Fear of the number thousand. From the Ancient Greek: khilioi, meaning the cardinal number 1000.