bogey

   , bogy, bogie
   In modern folklore studies, the term 'bogey' or 'bogeyman' is applied to any figure deliberately used to frighten others, almost always children, to control their behaviour.
   Formerly, the related words bogey, *bogle, *boggart, *bugbear, and their variants were common in rural speech all over England. They were all scarey creatures, whose exact nature was not defined; most collectors (and some informants) classified them as fairies, but there are instances where ghosts and localized minor demons are referred to by the same terms. Examples will be found in most regional collections. Descriptions of their appearance and behaviour differ from one tale to the next, though shape-changing is a standard feature (see *brag, *guytrash). It is not always possible to deduce from the accounts whether they were seriously feared, or whether some informants treated the topic as a joke. Certainly some were famous enough locally to be given individual names and become the subject of humorous anecdotes (Henderson, 1866: 233-9; Harland and Wilkinson, 1867: 49-55).
   Sometimes a bogey or boggart replaces the *Devil as the dupe of a deceptive agreeement or competition involving mowing crops; in such tales, naturally, the bogey is represented as extremely stupid. Versions from Northamptonshire and East Anglia are given in Briggs (1970-1: B. i. 26, 28-9, 140; 1976: 31-2).

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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