0 Today I Learned...the Word Coulrophobia

John Lawson's Circus, popolino clowns
The popolino clowns will travel with John Lawson’s Circus this summer. [Photo credit: thepopolinos.com]

Part of Speech: n
Definition: an extreme or irrational fear of clowns
Pronunciation: kool-roh-FOH-bee-uh
Etymology: from Ancient Greek (kōlobathristēs) "one who goes on stilts" < (kōlobathron) "stilt" < (kōlon) "limb" + (bainō) "I go" + -phobia fear of, from (fobos) "fear"

[via Wiktionary]
According to the Metro UK, a recent poll revealed that coulrophobia—an extreme or irrational fear of freaky, creepy, evil clowns—is rated Britain's third biggest fear, behind spiders and needles. 

Why are people so frightened by clowns? Ringmaster Attila Endresz blames the media. "There are many horror films such as Stephen King's It or even The Joker in Batman that portray the clown in a sinister light, and have subsequently heightened the fear of the clown," he explained. Both kids and adults alike are afraid, the Ringmaster says, which is why John Lawson's Circus plans to offer clown therapy (clown-seling?) when it opens in the UK next week. The Big Top hopes to attract more patrons by allowing them to confront their fears in free clown workshops.

My apologies to those who will have nightmares after seeing this post.

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