Apologies for launching into my rant again, but ... this one caused howls of anguish – not to say derision – when it was asked in Stockport Quiz League (in April 2016). The answer that my team gave was "garlic" – because we knew that garlic was known as aglio in Italian. To add insult to injury, the question master seemed to find this answer highly amusing – as well as wrong.

We knew that it wasn't "pain" – or at least, we thought we knew – because we knew that the Greek word for pain is algos. Not aglios, and not even aglos. Well ... maybe we didn't know the actual Greek word, but we knew that neuralgia is a headache, and myalgia is muscle pain, and an analgesic is a drug that relieves pain.

I for one felt heartily aggrieved, and was convinced that we'd been robbed of two points by a typographical error. But just to make sure, when I got home, I googled agliophobia. To my surprise, I came up with countless hits – including,,, and And they all told me that agliophobia was a fear of pain.

What's going on here? Am I missing something? Or does this just confirm my suspicions about the Internet – the blind leading the blind, as I've suggested on the main Phobias page – someone makes a mistake, and it gets replicated all over the place?

Wikipedia backs me up: it has a page for Algophobia, but not for Agliophobia., similarly, recognises algophobia, but not agliophobia. Chambers (print edition) agrees (but the New Oxford Dictionary of English has neither algophobia nor agliophobia). If you google algophobia, you do get a reassuring number of hits – including Wikipedia, and, but also common–, and

Because there seem to be two words for fear of pain, I've listed them both on this page. I still think agliophobia is wrong – but given the number of Internet sources that list it, I reckon it's highly likely that you'll get asked what it means, sooner or later.

Postscript: as if to fulfil my last prediction, the same question came up in the Macclesfield League (well – it was in the Cup semi–finals actually) in February 2017. Fortunately, I was of course prepared this time, and was able to convince my team–mates (not to mention the opposition, and the question master) that the required answer was almost certainly going to be "fear of pain". Which of course it was.

© Haydn Thompson 2017