This came up as I was writing a comment for a discussion on another site on the network*. The discussion was about non-english creative works, and I warned against "xenophobia," but that's not quite right since the bias in question applies much more strongly to works in foreign languages than to works in English created in foreign English-speaking countries (e.g. England, Australia, Canada). I'm looking for a word with connotations similar to "xenophobia" but that applies to foreign languages (as specifically as possible) instead of foreign countries or cultures.

At this point I probably won't be using it in this particular discussion, but now I'm curious as to whether such a word exists. I've just thought of "anglocentric," but that's more England than English, and I'd prefer a somewhat stronger and more general term.

*: I'd prefer not to link to the particular comment chain; it's not a pretty discussion and I'd like to limit its exposure (besides, it's likely to get wiped by myself or another mod at some point). I think the meaning I'm looking for is quite clear without it.

  • 9
    I think the word you're looking for is Xenoglossophobia
    – user15851
    Jun 22, 2013 at 16:20
  • "Fear of strange tongues". Yup, that'll do. Jun 22, 2013 at 16:30
  • 1
    @JohnLawler Agreed, but how about "xenolinguaphobia?" Does that work? Jun 23, 2013 at 5:52
  • 6
    No. Xeno and phobia are Greek; lingua is Latin. Technical terms match Greek with Greek and Latin with Latin. Since Greek falutes higher than Latin, it's more prestigious. Also less chance of unauthorized people understanding Greek. Jun 23, 2013 at 12:45
  • A condition which shall join sigmatism as unnamable by those in its throes. Jun 26, 2013 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


The term, as Tanninah mentioned, is Xenoglossophobia. I don't see why John Lawler said no. The term does not include lingua, it includes glosso, which is Greek for tongue.

So technically, Xenoglossophobia is the fear of foreign tongues.

  • 2
    +1, but I think you misunderstood John Lawler's "No." I see it as being in response to John Landsberg's suggestion of "xenolinguaphobia.": ( @JohnLawler Agreed, but how about "xenolinguaphobia?" Does that work? – John M. Landsberg Jun 23 '13 at 5:52)
    – Papa Poule
    Aug 11, 2015 at 16:29
  • 1
    "Automobile" is a common (not technical) English word that combines Greek "auto" (self) and Latin "mobile" (moving). The demotic Greek word is autokinetikos.
    – Theresa
    Jun 30, 2022 at 22:39

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