Algophobia n The morbid dread of pain. As a warning to those who have been lulled into a false sense of security at the dentist's by the latter's more or less routine use of local anesthetics, the author, a true algophobe, relates this cautionary tale of his encounter with a London dentist. "It's just a little one," said the dentist, in the most casual and reassuring tone, "do you want to bother with an anesthetic this time?" "No," I manfully replied. In an instant the drill was in my mouth, and through a curtain of unendurable pain I heard the dentist say "Suit yourself; it won't hurt me!" Like all algophobes, I have never been able to transcend dental medication. Hmmm . . . perhaps if you said it aloud. . . .
Why the holidays may give rise to algophobia:
Each Tuesday, we’ll offer up a Superior Word for the edification of our Superior Readers, via the volumes of the inimitable Peter Bowler. You can purchase all or any of the four Superior Person’s Books of Words from the Godine website. Algophobia appears in the Third.