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Date: Dec 13 2007

Themes: Pop Culture


1. Quote - Listen to the quote and guess what the slang means.

“Home can be great but it also feels claustrophobic.”

- Icelandic musician Bjork on having the just the right amount of adventure. (Harp)


1. Definition - Study the definition.

afraid of small spaces

2. Use - Learn how the slang is used.

Any word that ends in “phobia” is describing a certain kind of fear. Perhaps you recall the movie Arachnophobia, in which spiders take over a town. “Arachnophobia” means fear of spiders.

Generally, phobias refer to irrational fears. For instance, one who is claustrophobic would be terrified to climb into a cupboard. There’s no reason to be scared of climbing in a cupboard. You could just get in, sit there for a second and get out and go about your day. But a person with a phobia can’t help his or her fears.

Unlike most other phobias, the word claustrophobia has a lot of other uses. Anytime you feel your surroundings are limiting you or holding you in place, you can say that you’re feeling claustrophobic.

Björk is a famous musician. It’s doubtful that her house is very small. In fact, it’s probably quite large. So when she says that being home makes her feel claustrophobic, she doesn’t mean that she’s a afraid of a tiny space. She means that home can feel closed-in and restricting to her. Sometimes she’d rather be traveling.

Almost any situation has the potential to be claustrophobic. A class that you’re in, your job, a friendship, a group of friends, your family, all of these things can be claustrophobic, though hopefully not at the same time!


1. Examples - Hear some example sentences.

“Please, don’t ask me to hide in the closet! I’m claustrophobic.”


1. Winners - See who guessed the slang definition correctly.

it means fear of enclosed spaces..
by Kanaobi
liru Uncomfortably closed or hemmed in
by liru
MFZChabel it can be a really small place where you feel trapped in a metaphorical way.
by MFZChabel
winer129 Yes, every day whin I stay in my home I feel claustrophobic I love outgoing with my friends and I enjoy to go out
by winer129
fear of being closed in, not having an escape route, being trapped.
by omar_beyaty
feeling of being in a closed in place,
by bob_usa_brazil
it means pertaining to an abnormal fear of being in narrow or enclosed spaces or it may even mean uncomfortably closed or hemmed in
by sagarmhetre
rainstrs Great fear of confined spaces。
by rainstrs
If someone is 'claustrophobic' they are frightened of small spaces. I think it means an home can be great but it doesn't give you any well-being.
by Aurélie_358
to be restricted
by ali_5242
m@nuelm@d like trapped in a small place
by m@nuelm@d
Xxxx uncomfortably confined or crowded. e.g. a claustrophobic little room.
by Xxxx
Rehema86 Closed up,no space,
by Rehema86
doods scared of little space
by doods
babyxiao uncomfortably closed or hemmed in; abnormally afraid of closed-in places.
by babyxiao

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Log in to Comment




08:49 PM Mar 16 2016 |



Russian Federation

Crowded elevators make me feel very uncomfortable, maybe it means that I am claustrophobic . 

01:02 AM Mar 06 2016 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

i can’t sleep in village because i am claustrophobic i scare of spider even the small ones

03:21 PM Sep 30 2014 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

maybe sometimes the friendship could be claustrophobic , then it would be worse than a physical situation because when you trap in a bodily conditions you can escape finally and sooner, but mentally circumstnces are harder to run away. but if i notice this situation for me , maybe being in subway probably gets me claustrophobic . it really annoys me since i feel i dont have any way for geting out.

09:31 AM Dec 12 2013 |



I heard this slang yesterday and I thought it means the fear of high plcaes. 

 when I am upset the whole planet feels claustrophobic. :)

04:01 PM Apr 26 2013 |



I think i have great potentials, and i have a lot to give to the world but my surrounding really makes me very claustrophobic and limitted 

01:34 AM Jul 21 2011 |



My society makes me feel claustrophobic

01:29 AM Jul 21 2011 |





01:28 AM Jul 21 2011 |

vandame blue vano



03:40 AM Jul 20 2011 |



Russian Federation

For removal of displays of claustrophobia energizers are usually used.

01:09 PM Jul 01 2011 |


United Arab Emirates

confined spaces . 

07:34 PM Mar 09 2011 |

Whitney S

Whitney S


When I got stuck in the elevator of an hospital I, for the first time, felt how it feels to be a claustrophobic person.

I am glad the security man took us out of that place quickly, because if he had not, I think I would be a claustrophobic person nowadays. 

03:38 AM Dec 23 2010 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

In my relations with friends or anybody who doesnt belong to my family, i am a little claustrophobic.

11:46 AM Nov 23 2010 |




11:10 AM Nov 14 2010 |



When you get into an early metro in the morning off to work cramped with people. Now that really feels claustrophobic!!

01:37 AM Apr 01 2010 |

*butterfly wings*

Saudi Arabia

i do get the feeling that i'm claustrophobic when staying at home for long time,

i'm kindda out going person.

10:55 PM Feb 16 2010 |




what mean this word

02:00 PM Jan 06 2010 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

repeated life and feel boring

06:07 PM Dec 26 2009 |



United States

how to get the slang language as fast as I can?

01:25 AM Dec 05 2009 |



I think it´s  when there are a lot of problems around, so you feel home is enclosing you and that´s terrible

08:25 PM Oct 22 2009 |

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