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Fear of ferns

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12452.  Wed Dec 22, 2004 10:14 am Reply with quote

I read somewhere that Freud suffered from this.

Does anyone know whether that's true?

Or whether such a phobia exists at all?

Or, if it does, whether there is a word for it?

12453.  Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:26 pm Reply with quote

a quick search on tells us there is nospecific Fern phobia although Botanophobia would be a fear of plants in general

12455.  Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:35 pm Reply with quote

Using normal construction I think Filicophytaphobia would do

12470.  Wed Dec 22, 2004 8:52 pm Reply with quote

I'm uncomfortable about this whole business of attributing phobias to dead celebrities. Presumably the definition of a phobia must involve some extreme response, some spontaneous and uncontrollable failure of rationality. But I bet most of these alleged phobias are to do with (at best) minor peccadilloes about cats or the number 13 or ferns or whatever.

No research done, mind you - just my phobiophobia talking.

12473.  Thu Dec 23, 2004 5:29 am Reply with quote

I'm uncomfortable about this whole business of attributing phobias to dead celebrities
A textbook case of celebrermortodelegoautopseudophobia.

12477.  Thu Dec 23, 2004 8:35 am Reply with quote

Are we talking about fear of Fern Britten here 'cos she's still alive.

12481.  Thu Dec 23, 2004 11:52 am Reply with quote

Freud wrote to his friend and mentor, Wilhelm Fliess, who had postulated innate bisexuality, of:

a wonderful wood full of ferns and mushrooms where you must reveal to me the secrets of the world of lower animals and the world of children.

Fliess himself had worked on reflex nasal neurosis and some commentators highlight the visual similarity of ferns to the nasal (turbinate) bone.

I don't know about mushrooms, but aren't ferns one those organisms, like jellyfish, which reproduce in alternate asexual and sexual generations?

12486.  Thu Dec 23, 2004 2:06 pm Reply with quote

Yes ferns have a gametophyte (sexual) form & a sporophyte (asexual) form, the ferns cycle is closer to that of mosses & liverworts than jellyfish, but quite similar to jellybabes.


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