Cymbalalalazophobia: Things to worry about when the sky isn’t falling

So  just the other morning I suffered something like a flash of cymbalalalazophobia, which is hardly surprising, Sara claims, given my lifestyle.

My recent “Hope in dark times” post elicited the following Facebook query:   Is there an official fear of hi-hat cymbals phobia?

If there weren’t, it stuck me that I had a friend who might be uniquely qualified to coin such an expression. Dr. Anthony Alcock is not only a fine classical scholar, linguist, Egyptologist, jazz & blues guitarist and trumpeter and man about town (not this one), he’s capable of spinning five neologisms from the classical Greek before breakfast. His advice:

You might try this, from I Corinthians 31,1:

Cymbalon alalazon (which may turn out to be gobbledygook in the transmission) — ‘a tinkling cymbal’, from which it is possible to make a word ‘cymbalalalazophobia ‘, along the lines of ‘supercalifragilisticexpialodocious’, which would be an apt description of the theology of St Paul.

I’m not competent to comment on Tony’s theological acumen, though I’m predisposed to believe he’s right in this matter of St. Paul. (Wait. The Inquisition is defunct, is it not?) But the new word is just what we needed. It even has a pleasingly musical quality to it, and nearly demands percussion accompaniment. As long as that doesn’t involve hi-hats, of course.

So we get to see the English language evolving right before our startled eyes. And now that it has been defined, many more among us will discover in ourselves this horror of hi-hats.

More on the passage in I Corinthians. (Further testament to Tony’s genius: this account suggests onomatopoeic connotations in cymbalon alalazon of approaching armies clad as for battle.)

If  cymbalalalazophobia isn’t enough for you, click on Chicken Little, here, for a comprehensive list of phobias to choose from.

4 thoughts on “Cymbalalalazophobia: Things to worry about when the sky isn’t falling

  1. Frankly, my family hates St. Paul because he has the temerity (even in death) to stand in the way of our winning the coveted Guinness Record for screwing up a society the most. Since his society started off as much of the Western world and expanded from there, you can see that, hard as we Kims try, working with a country the size of Pennsylvania with a population of a mere 22 million, we have difficulty competing. That’s why I welcome the new president of South Korea. I have a feeling she will be at least marginally more willing than her predecessor to subsidize us. After all, it would be recognition of Korea and Korea is One.

    • Best wishes with the Guinness people. I’ll vote for you. Good luck with the subsidization as well.

      I take it you yourself don’t suffer from cymbalalalazophobia, along with any attendant onomatopoeic connotations of approaching armies clad as for battle.

Leave a Comment