I have a small addiction to movie trailers. When I go to the cinema, I enjoy watching the trailers as much as the movie itself, and I can literally spend hours, on YouTube watching one after another.
Yesterday a headline mentioning a future release caught my eye. It read: “Coulrophobia Is Back.”
Perhaps some of you already know what kind of phobia the term refers to, but I have to admit that it was the first time I’d ever heard the word. For those like me, I’ll give you a hint as to what it means: the article talked about the first trailer of the new adaptation of Stephen King’s “It”, which here in Spain is known as “Eso.” I’m sure you’re familiar with the terrifying clown face with sharp teeth and crazy red hair that was to blame for making coulrophobia, or an irrational fear of clowns, a fashionable trend in the 90s.
And if just as I did, you’re now wondering why it couldn’t just be called “clownphobia”, we’d have to go back to the Greeks, as usual. The prefix coulro comes from the Greek term kolobathristes, which means “one who walks on stilts” because at that time indeed, clowns, mimes and jesters used to walk on stilts.
As you can see, there’s always some interesting etymology in everything. Interested in learning more? Be sure to check out our YouTube