3

I just finished reading the article 60 Years Ago Today: The Day A Meteorite Hit Ann Hodges (Bad Astronomy blog, Phil Plait) and I couldn't help wondering what the medical term for the fear of this would be...

10
  • 2
    The medical term for this fear would be "delusional paranoia".
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Nov 30, 2014 at 15:18
  • 1
    @DanBron - No if you are Joe Btfsplk.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Nov 30, 2014 at 15:25
  • 2
    It's a medical condition only when it's an irrational fear. Since there is no word for it, it must mean that the fear is rational. QED
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 30, 2014 at 15:57
  • 1
    Chicken-littleism.
    – Mitch
    Commented Nov 30, 2014 at 16:15
  • 1
    The condition is known technically as 'chickenlittleosis'.
    – user3847
    Commented Nov 30, 2014 at 17:07

3 Answers 3

5

There is meteorophobia for the fear of meteors or meteorites. It obviously covers the fear of being hit by a meteorite also. The word meteor comes from French meteores and Latin meteora, and ultimately from Ancient Greek μετέωρα (metéōra); thus, this phobia word is properly formed in regard to its Latin and Greek origins as well.

Meteorophobia is the fear of meteors. The fear is almost always triggered after learning about the meteors and their potential devastating affects of hitting the Earth. Sufferers of meteorophobia would constantly keep an eye on the sky while not be in the building, while more severe sufferers would want to go deep underground that may offer some protection from meteorite strikes if they couldn't get out of the way. - phobia.fandom.com

Meteorophobia is also listed in Oxford Dictionary of Psychology (by Andrew M. Colman) under the appendix 'Phobias and Phobic Stimuli'; which includes an additional sense in relation to the figurative sense of the word meteor:

meteorophobia Meteors or one's success being short lived (overnight success). [From English meteor]

Note: This person can be called a neurotic also because it is an extremely rare event to worry about.

3
  • Is meteorophobia recognised by a recognised authority? Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 10:52
  • 1
    It is in Oxford Dictionary of Psychology by Andrew M. Colman. You can find meteorophobia in many other sources in Google and Google Books as well. The word is not in OED yet but one can request to submit a new word in OED.
    – ermanen
    Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 11:04
  • That seems a respectable source; answers are far better when they contain such. Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 11:51
2

There isn't one. Oxford dictionary lists words for fear of comets (cometophobia) and stars (siderophobia) but I guess there aren't enough people afraid of getting conked on the head by meteorites or space junk to coin a phrase, yet...

-1

As a record in folklore, there's always Chicken Little (the sky is falling!) - who just needed a word to pathologize his preoccupation with & fear of empty vastness. (And who knows what it might throw at him.)

1
  • How does this answer the question?
    – livresque
    Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 22:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.