Don’t Fear the Suffix Posted by Transparent Language on May 21, 2009 in Esperanto Language
A pretty useful suffix to remember in Esperanto is “fobio.” On its own, it simply means “phobia.” It’s a little bit different than “timo,” which means “fear” (or “timi,” to fear) in that it denotes a more severe frightened response to a particular thing, and usually connotes irrationality. The difference is somewhat difficult to express in English, though, since we often use fear and phobia interchangeably.
It would be worth your time to remember -fobio, because it lets you describe specific phobias. All you need to do is tack a descriptive root in front of it, and suddenly you can explain perfectly what the phobia entails. It also allows you to be a bit less scientific in your explanations than what you might encounter in English. For example, the technical term for “fear of heights” in English is “batophobia,” which the average listener probably wouldn’t understand. In Esperanto, you can say “altfobio” (height-fear), and you’ll be understood.
Also, you can say “grandvortfobio” to express a fear of long words, rather than the technical English equivalent:
(Ready? This is kind of ridiculous. And mean-spirited, considering what it means.)