The suffix -phobia means fear of, often irrational fear of. For example, according to Wikipedia:

Ophidiophobia or ophiophobia is a particular type of specific phobia, the abnormal fear of snakes.

Is there a suffix attachable to ophidio- which would describe a person who is not afraid of snakes, except for, say, a coiled rattler encountered on a trail, but who dislikes them and would not willingly share space with one?

Similarly, an arachnophile (don't click here if you are at all arachnophobic) is someone who loves spiders. Is there a suffix for someone who likes spiders but does not love them?

These are Greek suffixes, and the Greeks, theoretically, were in favor of moderation. So, are there suffixes in use in English, derivable from Greek or not, for moderate like and moderate dislike?

Edit to explain why the question: "Is there a suffix for loathing" does not answer my question. My question is NOT about fear and/or loathing. My question is about moderate dislike (and moderate like). I can watch a snake cross my driveway with interest, but would not want it in the house or lounging on my patio. A person who loathed snakes would not be able to admire the smooth motion of the snake as it glided over the rough gravel and disappeared into the woods. Loathe is very different from moderate dislike; Phobia is very different from caution.

  • 2
    Snake-averse. Snake-preferring.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 22:08
  • 1
    Ophidio-tolerant; ophidio-intolerant.
    – Ricky
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 22:25
  • 3
    If I were our marketing manager, snake-friendly / -unfriendly ; if I were my doctor, snake-receptive / -resistant ; if The Economist, snake-inclined / -disinclined ; if Buzzfeed, snake-positive / snake-negative. Definitely plan on a visit to the Crocodile House if your date is snake-positive. Of course, to the doctor, snake-positive is disturbing or intriguing on a whole other level.
    – choster
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 23:37
  • 2
    For not caring one whit about snakes, 'ophidio-meh'.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 3:54

1 Answer 1


This is typically accomplished using modifiers:

John is mildly arachnophobic.

Aside from hyphenating existing words similar to those mentioned in the comments, there is no clear suffix for either meaning you requested.

Other relevant close-but-not-quite options:

  • The prefixes anti- and pro-: "John is anti-snake."

  • The suffix -mania which takes a very different twist: "John suffers from arachnomania." The exact meaning would be debatable but it could be played off of words such as "pyromania".

  • The word ambivalent describes a "little of both" and conveys a sort of conflicted neutrality.
  • 1
    Ambivalent is exactly how I feel about snakes. ophidiobivalent is how I would describe myself in speech, if I were speaking rapidly; ophidio-ambivalent in writing. I am more positive about spiders, although I do not love them.
    – ab2
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 23:16
  • @ab2 so in actual fact, you are indifferent toward snakes, you feel neither like nor dislike. Because a person who dislikes something will avoid situations where the object disliked is present. I live near the sea and I dislike seagulls, I will avoid visiting certain streets that are "infested" by them. I'm not scared of seagulls, I don't panic when I see one perched on the roof of my car, but I will never feed the beasts. So, I am "what" exactly?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 4:32
  • @Mary Lou In the abstract, I am indifferent. In reality, I will keep my distance. I would not visit the reptile house at the zoo. I would not drape a python around my neck, as is done in some fashion photos. Ambivalent is so far the best word -- they have a place in the ecosystem, they are very old, they have as much right as I do to live, but let's each stay on our own turf. As for fear, I would fear a grizzly bear if I encountered one hiking, and I would fear a rattler if I encountered one hiking. I am on the negative side towards snakes, on the positive side towards spiders.
    – ab2
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 11:20

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