Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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mysophobia

mysophobia or misophobia (mee-soh-FOH-bee-ah) - n., a pathological fear of dirt or contamination.


It's often described as the former, but in practice is about the latter -- in particular, about being contaminated by germs, to the point of being irrationally avoidant of anything dirty or unclean. It was initially coined in 1879 by a doctor when describing a case of what today would be called obsessive-compulsive disorder, but while the two are sometimes found together they are distinct: you can be phobic without being OCD, and verse-visa. The roots coined from are Greek mýsos, uncleanness, filth + phobos, fear.

We have to cater to my mother's mysophobia and scrub the place top to bottom for a week before she visits, and she STILL finds something to clean.


Administrivia: Next Thursday I'll be traveling out of reach of any internet. Can anyone take over for me?

---L.
Tags: greek, m, noun
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