Peel me a grape
But remove the seed
I love the flesh
But have no need
Of hard encounters
In the skin
Juicy, fat, dry or thin.
On second thoughts—feed me gin.



More Phobia Limerick Riddles

Each poem below describes a phobia. Guess what the person is scared of in each. For extra credit try to name the phobia’s official name. Post your answers in the comments section below.


Phobia 7

The gentleman Benjamin Howth
was ignored by the west and the south
all because he forgot
just who was and was not–
he was frightened to open his mouth.


Phobia 8

She was young and she worked in a hole
Where she spent every day like a mole,
But to celebrate night
While she hid from the light
She would dance on a nice grassy knoll.


Phobia 9

Some may say ‘tis a gift to be true
To see someone who’s truly like you,
But for some it’s a fear
That you really are near–
It’s a view you would rather eschew.


Phobia 10

In a cave he would never be found,
For he’d suffer just from the mere sound;
With a fear that’s intense,
He’d take leave of his sense
If a flapping he heard all around.


Phobia 11

She would tremble with fear every morn
At the sound that her senses did warn,
Of the danger too near
In the reeds at the weir
Something slimy that sounds like a horn.
Jan Darling is a New Zealander who has worked in Auckland, Wellington, London, Barcelona, New York and Sydney at copywriting and marketing strategy.  She has spent her leisure time over sixty years writing poetry and short stories. Now retired, she lives in pastoral New South Wales with her husband Arturo. 

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9 Responses

  1. Alan

    I’m just guessing on some of these. I haven’t looked up the official names, but I thought I’d create some, just for fun.

    Phobia 7: fear of forgetting names? (senilaphobia)

    Phobia 8: fear of light? (lucephobia)

    Phobia 9: fear of one’s doppelganger? (twinaphobia)

    Phobia 10: fear of bats? (flyingfurryphobia)

    Phobia 11: fear of snakes or thorns (really no idea)?

    • Alan

      At the med school’s a student named Hicks
      Who abhors what her textbook depicts,
      For she takes quite a fright
      At a human drawn right,
      And her phobia censors all limericks.

      • Jan Darling

        Was that the Hicks’ whose father was a policeman? This may explain the poor girl’s fear:

        A policeman from Clapham Junction
        whose penis had ceased to function
        for years of his life
        bamboozled his wife
        with the dexterous use of his truncheon.

        That was one of the first limericks I heard and was told me by my favourite aunt who had spent 14 years as a Nun!

    • Jan Darling

      Thank you Alan – your names are quite delicious! Here’s another set of clues to help you. On Monday – I’ll reveal the proper names.
      Phobia 7: extreme timidity
      Phobia 8: better try a fake tan
      Phobia 9: reflect a little longer
      Phobia 10: don’t go near the belfry
      Phobia 11: he’s not in his Hall
      It’s almost more fun making them up!

  2. C.B. Anderson

    Phobia 10 must be something like chiropteraphobia.

    Phobia 8: heliophobia?

    Phobia 9: speculaphobia

    Phobia 11: salientaphobia or ranidaphobia?

  3. Jan Darling

    Thank you Alan and CB for playing my game.

    This is an abnormal and irrational fear of failure which, in clinical cases, is totally debilitating. The fear of even the most subtle failure or defeat is so intense that it restricts the subject from doing anything at all.

    PHOBIA 8: HELIOPHOBIA. CB pinned it perfectly. It is recognised as a specific phobia and is the fear of sunlight or any bright light.

    PHOBIA 9: EISOPTROPHOBIA. I loved writing this one. It is the fear of seeing oneself in a mirror, derived from Greek ‘eisoptro’ meaning mirror and ‘phobia’ meaning fear, with which of course we are familiar. CB’s offering of SPECULAPHOBIA was both bold and brilliant and probably does exist in some language. It refers to the ‘speculum’ which is the metal or glass reflector in the reflecting telescope.

    PHOBIA 10: CHIROPTOPHOBIA. I expected a guess involving hands but CB’s accurate offering did create an excited fluttering in my wings. (Not that I’m at all batty.) Sufferers of this phobia experience intense fear, even panic, at the thought or sight of bats. If they find themselves in the presence of bats they will feel extreme anxiety and immediate danger.

    PHOBIA 11: BUFONOPHOBIA. This is a specific phobia rooted in Latin ‘bufo’ and Greek. It is the fear of toads, related to Batrachophobia (fear of frogs, newts, salamanders). I liked CB’s Salientaphobia – the same association leapt to my mind, as did his Ranidaphobia, which I thought could reasonably refer to ‘rana’, which is Spanish for frog.

    Alan – you definitely deserve a special mention for your splendid offerings. You should be proud of them.

    Playing the game is more important than winning it.

    I leave you with this very special word:
    It is one of the longest words in the dictionary, AND it is DELICIOUSLY IRONIC! Can you guess it? It’s the perfect candidate for idle cocktail chatter. If you haven’t guessed it – watch this space tomorrow.

  4. Jan Darling

    Leaping Lizards! I neglected to reveal the meaning of this wonderful word:

    It is the fear of long words!
    My apologies. I was swept away by excessive heat and the realisation that the air conditioning unit had broken down – and we are still awaiting its replacement. We have 38 Celsius today, tomorrow is forecast to be a sweaty 40 and Sunday we expect 44.


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