Fear of cranes?
June 8, 2005 12:08 PM   Subscribe

What would the irrational fear of construction cranes be called? I'm looking for a word in the form [Greek or Latin root]phobia. I've checked a few lists of phobias, but it doesn't show up. Any suggestions/neologisms?
posted by goatdog to Writing & Language (17 answers total)
Some latin beginnings for a neologism...
condo: erect, establish, build
construo: to construct, build, arrange.
construxi: to construct, build, arrange.
constructum: to construct, build, arrange.

Still maybe (but probably not):
molior: to build, erect, construct, contrive, toil, struggle.
substruo: to build beneath, lay a foundation.
posted by safetyfork at 12:16 PM on June 8, 2005

I remember from taking the Cambridge Latin Course in high school (Grumio est in via) that the latin word for construction crane is polyspaston. So polyspastonphobia perhaps?
posted by sourwookie at 12:18 PM on June 8, 2005

Check here. (Scroll down a bit.)
posted by sourwookie at 12:22 PM on June 8, 2005

Response by poster: I like polyspastiphobia. Thanks, sourwookie.
posted by goatdog at 12:28 PM on June 8, 2005

IIRC the word derrick comes from the name of a London hangman. Derrickophobia seems a reasonable fear in that case, and covers cranes as well as gallows.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:32 PM on June 8, 2005

Derrick is the name of a long-running German cop show, so it would cause confusion. Polyspastiophobia would be a good name though.
posted by Kattullus at 1:47 PM on June 8, 2005

I can't think of a standard recognized phobia that uses latin roots instead of greek.

So consult a greek dictionary, not a latin one.
posted by Araucaria at 2:12 PM on June 8, 2005

Actually, polyspaston looks more greek than latin! So it could work.
posted by Araucaria at 2:14 PM on June 8, 2005

Yes, just verified. Polyspaston entered Latin directly from Greek. So it would make a valid phobic prefix.
posted by Araucaria at 2:17 PM on June 8, 2005

Geranos is the word I get for crane on this page of ancient green inventions, so perhaps Geranophobia?

Aeorema were the cranes used in greek theatre. If the fear of cranes is specifically related to a fear of being "snatched up" by one, maybe Aeoremaphobia would be a more correct term.
posted by Crosius at 2:29 PM on June 8, 2005

Geranos is originally the bird. As in the Cranes of Ibycus. But you're right, Crosius, it also refers to a theatrical hoist.

So- Geranophobia, if you like.

(May one ask what this is for?)
posted by IndigoJones at 2:42 PM on June 8, 2005

Response by poster: I had a friend who was terrified of cranes, and I thought she was silly until I walked under a monstrous one the other day, one that actually made me a little nervous. I thought I might write something about it, but I needed a reasonable-sounding name for it. Thanks everyone!
posted by goatdog at 3:00 PM on June 8, 2005

I just gotta say that sometimes the sight of cranes on the horizon give me the heebie-jeebies. They can look so other worldly, like an extra-terrestrial landscape.

Additionally, half constructed networks of highway on/off ramps/interchanges (like the ones I saw on I-35 leaving Austin last week) put me in mind of alien architecture.
posted by sourwookie at 3:51 PM on June 8, 2005

Hell, if I ever came across this nightmarish thing I'd probably develop instant polyspasto-/aeorema-/geranophobia.

That being said I generally find cranes to be beautiful structures.
posted by Kattullus at 4:22 PM on June 8, 2005

Wow, I'd run screaming from that thing. What is it and what is it for??
posted by IndigoRain at 7:33 PM on June 8, 2005

Very big cranes scare me a bit too. They seem vaguely unnatural, like something that big shouldn't be mobile.
posted by abcde at 7:36 PM on June 8, 2005

Wow, I'd run screaming from that thing. What is it and what is it for??

It's the world's largest earth mover, manufatured by Krupp in Germany. It's for coal mining, and can shift 76,455 cubic meters of material each day, the equivalent of 100,000 large dump trucks. More pics / stats here.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:32 PM on June 8, 2005

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