Fear of palindromes (A brief overview)

In this brief guide, we will be discussing the topic: fear of palindromes. We will be examining the nature of this fear and how to deal with it. We will also be answering other questions related to palindromes and phobia.

Fear of palindromes

Fear of palindromes is referred to as aibohphobia. It refers to a situation where the person affected by the phobia, experiences severe fear of words that are also palindromes. Most of us deal with one or the other kind of fear daily. Aibohphobia is one such rare type of fear that certain people around the globe suffer from. Ironically, the word itself is a palindrome. This fact in itself is torturous!.

What is a palindrome?

A palindrome refers to the term that is given to those words which are read the same, both forwards and backward. It could be a word, a phrase, or a sequence. “Malayalam” the native tongue of people residing in Kerala, is the longest palindromic language name. The longest palindromic place name goes to Kanakanak, a place situated in Alaska, USA. the first palindromic sentence in English came out in the year 1614 and goes like this; “lewd did I live and evil I did dwel”. 

The art of finding palindromic words and phrases, or palindromic sentences is a form of entertainment in itself. People who are devoted and dedicated to this art, spend hours and days to find palindromes covering more than one sentence. 


The diagnosis of aibohphobia is vague and does not exist. This is because this fear is not diagnosable and many psychologists strongly doubt the existence of this fear. As palindromes on their own are not harmful or dangerous, this is presumed to be one of the most irrational fears ever to exist. Another reason could be the skills one needs to discover palindromes. Only someone with high observation skills and a meticulous mind can spot palindromes while reading. Also, the chances of missing palindromes are higher, if they are printed in a newspaper or a filled up brochure. 

Therefore, the odds of running into palindromes are highly unlikely, and even if you do end up spotting, it could mean you had an intention of finding them. For the above reasons, most psychologists like to believe that this fear has been brought into the picture to make people realize that most of the fears experienced by humankind are merely states of mind and not a reality in itself. Therefore the fear of palindrome is not one to be taken seriously. And most people cannot provide sufficient accounts for experiencing this kind of fear. 

When do phobias become dangerous?

Phobias become dangerous and a serious concern when they become extremely paralyzing and limiting. When an individual is experiencing any kind of phobia, it is mostly due to some kind of past traumatic event or negative experiences. The best way to abolish and eliminate phobias from your life is by seeking professional help to get to the bottom of these past traumas and come to rational conclusions and subsequent coping strategies to help you move forward in life. 

Phobias become dangerous when they interfere with your daily life which leads to missing out on wonderful and amazing life experiences that could enrich your personal growth and also cause the above-mentioned negative effects. Certain phobias called xenophobia (fear of strangers), cause fear among people of different states, regions, cultures, languages, sexual preferences, and such kind. Phobias can be compared to restrictive and suffocating cages where you feel trapped and overwhelmed until you manage to get out of it, safely. 

Dealing with the fear of palindromes

The best way to deal with the fear of palindrome is to be aware of the fact that the phobia is merely a state of mind and cannot be manifested in reality. Besides, there is no fear of words that are very hard to make out in the first place or conditions that instill such fears. You could be possibly suffering from fear of public speaking or embarrassing yourself through mispronunciation or usage of complicated structures of sentences or long words. 

Aibohphobia is more of a humorous take on the other potentially serious phobias, to make people realize that phobias are something that can be managed and tamed, gradually and efficiently. They exist fear as a mere manifestation of certain thoughts or feelings, and those which can be gotten rid of. 

The next time you feel you are being afraid of palindromes, you could try thinking of words or phrases that are palindromes and you will be alright. In case you have other phobias, ask yourself if they can be overcome with the help of your willpower. 


In this article, we discussed the topic: fear of palindromes. We examined the meaning of palindromes, the authenticity of the term aibohphobia, its diagnosis, when do phobias become dangerous, and how to deal with the fear of palindromes. 

FAQs: fear of palindromes

What is the meaning of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia?

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is one of the longest words that is found in the dictionary and ironically this is the term that is used for the fear of long words. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is also considered to be a social phobia. The symptoms of this phobia are triggered when a person sees a long word such as “antidisestablishmentarianism”. A person with this disorder, on seeing such words, experience a great deal of fear and anxiety. In some cases, they also avoid reading as they don’t want to confront the panic or anxiety that they might experience on seeing such words. 

Fear of long words can cause feelings of embarrassment or feelings of being mocked when pronouncing or reading long words. Other signs and symptom include the following:

Dry mouth
Trouble breathing
Avoiding situations where you have to read because of fear
Experiencing distress over academics

What is the longest palindrome? 

The longest palindrome in the English language is tattarratatt. This term was coined by James Joyce in his 1922  Ulysses. This term is used to imitate the sound o a knock on the door. There are twelve letters in this word. Palindromes can be given names such as Bob, Anna, Hannah, Eve. place names can also be palindromes such as Semmes and ward draw. Palindrome also finds a special place in biochemistry. It is a part of DNA in which the sequence of nucleotides is identical to an inverted sequence in the complementary strand. GAATTC is a palindrome of CTTAAG. Some of the palindrome phrases are as follows:

Never odd or even
We panic in a pew
Won’t lovers revolt now?
Sir, I demand. I’m a maid named Iris
Don’t nod

What is the rarest fear?

Allodoxaphobia is considered to be an extremely rare phobia. Allodoxaphobia is used to define the fear of opinions. People suffering from this phobia might have faced encounters or situations in the past where they might have felt discomfort, expressing their opinions or their opinions might have got rejected. This might have inhibited their need for expressing their valuable opinions, even in times of dire need. This is highly visible in social situations, when people show a lack of interest, involving themselves in group discussions or sometimes, they might express fear of confrontation. 

What are people’s biggest fears in life?

One of the most evident and debilitating fear, most of the people in the world face is the fear of failure. Due to the presence of this fear, many people end up stopping themselves from trying out new things due to fear of not being good at it or fear of failing in it. This further leads to feelings of frustration, stagnation, and despair, eventually. You need to understand the fact that failures are normal in life and must learn to take failures as lessons to move forward in the journey of life. 

What causes fear in humans?

Fear is a common and inevitable emotion that humans experience are a result of a threat of harm that could be real or imagined. This threat can be something which might affect our emotional, physiological, or psychological well-being. Fears can be triggered by people, situations, circumstances, and personal beliefs. They might instill feelings of uncertainty and severe anxiety in people affected by them. Humans are also capable of becoming afraid of nearly everything. It also serves as an important emotion in keeping us safe, as it helps us to deal with potential danger. 

What is the weirdest phobia ever?

Here are some of the weirdest phobias to ever exist:

Ergophobia – the fear of workplace
Somniphobia – the fear of falling asleep
Chaetophobia – the fear or loose or detached hair
Oikophobia – the fear of houses, being in home surroundings, and certain times in a house
Panphobia – the fear of unknown and vague situations, people, or emotions
Ablutophobia – the persistent and unwarranted fear of bathing, cleaning, and washing.

What are the top three phobias?

Some of the common and well-known phobias are as follows:

Arachnophobia – This phobia refers to the fear of spiders
Ophidiophobia – this phobia refers to the fear of snakes
Acrophobia – this phobia refers to the fear of heights. 
Agoraphobia – This phobia refers to the fear of situations from which escape is a difficult affair
Cynophobia – this phobia refers to the fear of dogs. This fear mostly occurs due to previous unpleasant experiences, involving dogs.
Astraphobia – the fear of thunder and lightning
Trypanophobia – this phobia refers to the fear of injections.
Social phobia – this phobia refers to the fear of social situations. In some cases, it becomes so severe that the affected individual tends to avoid people, events, and places that could trigger an anxiety attack. 
Mysophobia – this phobia refers to the fear of germs or dirt. It is commonly associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

What is the fear of 666 called?

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is the term used to define the fear of 666. This phobia has its origin in both religious beliefs and superstitions. This fear is related to the fear of number 13 and does not significantly affect the lives of those people affected by it. This fear appears in the Bible, in the book of revelation. It is considered to be the number of the beast. The events written in the revelation are extremely scary and gruesome. Due to this reason, it is justifiable for the development of a fear or phobia towards it. 

Most horror movies use this number as a premise and tend to be supernatural thrillers that play on the association between the number and antichrist. Fear of the number 666 can manifest in several ways and the symptoms differ from person to person. Some people refuse to stay in homes or streets, bearing this number.  




Aibohphobia: The Fear of Palindromes



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