London: It may sound a bit strange, but some five million men in Britain are suffering from oikodomophobia - a fear of tradesmen, a new study has revealed.
Researchers have found that British men suffer symptoms such as sweaty palms, breathing difficulties and breaking into a cold sweat when negotiating work with builders, plumbers or electricians.
The men worst affected by oikodomophobia tend to be those who themselves work in advertising, recruitment and banking.
More than 30 per cent of men admitted feeling intimidated and confused when speaking to tradespeople. The main reason is their lack of knowledge, particularly about technical terms and whether the price they were being quoted was fair.
A third said their minds went blank when talking to tradesmen and that they felt nervous when dealing with them.
One in four men admitted to needing help with do-it-yourself projects, but many turned to friends rather than professionals.
The researchers said these men suffer from oikodomophobia - a term coined in 2006 from the ancient Greek oikodomo for building.
Jill Pringle, the company's marketing director, was quoted as saying, "As many as 25 per cent of men admit to not being able to change a light bulb properly."