In psychiatry, oikophobia (synonymous with domatophobia and ecophobia)[1] is an aversion to home surroundings. It can also be used more generally to mean an abnormal fear (a phobia) of the home, or of the contents of a house ("fear of household appliances, equipment, bathtubs, household chemicals, and other common objects in the home").[2] The term derives from the Greek words oikos, meaning household, house, or family, and phobos, meaning "fear".

In 1808 the poet and essayist Robert Southey used the word to describe a desire (particularly by the English) to leave home and travel.[3] Southey's usage as a synonym for wanderlust was picked up by other nineteenth century writers.

The term has also been used in political contexts to refer critically to political ideologies that repudiate one's own culture and laud others. The first such usage was by Roger Scruton in a 2004 book.

Psychiatric usage

In psychiatric usage oikophobia typically refers to fear of the physical space of the home interior, and is especially linked to fear of household appliances, baths, electrical equipment and other aspects of the home perceived to be potentially dangerous.[2] The term is properly applied only to fear of objects within the house. Fear of the house itself is referred to as domatophobia.[2] In the post-World War II era some commentators used the term to refer to a supposed "fear and loathing of housework" experienced by women who worked outside the home and who were attracted to a consumerist lifestyle.[4]