noun; derivation
The fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you. In his book 'The Prehistory of The Far Side', Mr. Larson explains how he came up with the idea to use the term 'anatidaephobia' rather than a supposedly more obvious word such as 'duckowatchophobia'. Many 'Far Side' cartoons are rather intellectual, and Mr. Larson is somewhat of a naturalist himself (there is a species of biting flea named after him), so he chose to use a more scientific approach and take the name of the duck family (anatidae) and append -phobia onto it. All words ending in -phobia are models for anatidaephobia, and Mr. Larson coined the word so that anyone who knew how ducks are biologically classified would see it as something more than a nonsense word.
Etymology : Derived from ‘anatidae’ (family name of heavy, short-legged swimming birds with horny-tipped bills) + ‘phobia’ (Latin: fear, fear of)
Source : The Complete Far Side
Last modified: 10 June 2008