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[ur-guh-foh-bee-uh] /ˌɜr gəˈfoʊ bi ə/

an abnormal fear of work; an aversion to work.

a fear of work
Word Origin

ergo- ‘work’

“fear of work,” 1905, coinage by British medical man Dr. William Dunnett Spanton, from Greek ergos “work” (see urge (v.)) + -phobia “fear.”

Mr. W.D. Spanton (Leeds) considered that the most prominent causes of physical degeneration were–efforts to rear premature and diseased infants, absurd educational high pressure, cigarette smoking in the younger generation, and late hours at night; in fact, the love of pleasure and ergophobia in all classes of society. He considered that there was too much cheap philanthropy, that life was made too easy for the young poor, and that by modern educational methods proper parental discipline was rendered almost impossible. [report on the 73rd annual meeting of the British Medical Association, “Nature,” Aug. 3, 1905]


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