EtymologyThe name is derived from the Middle-English Bugge (of which the term Bogeyman, bogey is also derived) which is in turn a cognate of the German term word bögge (of which böggel-mann (''"Goblin"'') is derived) and possibly the Norwegian dialect word bugge meaning "important man".''The Merriam-Webster new book of word histories'', Merriam-Webster, 1991, , p.71 The Welsh Bwg could also be connected, and was thought in the past to be the origin of the English term; however, it has been suggested that it is itself a borrowing from Middle English. The Irish Gaelic word "bagairt" meaning "threat" could also be related.
UsageOne of the most famous usages of the term was by Gavin Douglas, who was in turn quoted by Robert Burns at the beginning of ''Tam o' Shanter (poem), Tam O' Shanter'':
Of Brownie (elf), Brownyis and of Bogillis full is this Buke.There is a popular story of a bogle known as Tatty Bogle, who would hide himself in potato fields (hence his name) and either attack unwary humans or cause blight within the patch. This bogle was depicted as a scarecrow, "bogle" being an old name for "scarecrow" in various parts of England and Scotland. Another popular Scottish reference to bogles comes in ''The Bogle by the Boor Tree'', a Scots language, Scots poem written by W. D. Cocker. In this ghostly ode, the Bogle is heard in the wind and in the trees to "fricht wee weans". In the Scottish lowlands circa 1950 AD a bogle was a ghost as was a bogey-man, and a Tattie-Bogle was a scarecrow, used to keep creatures out of the potato fields. All three words were in common use among the children. It is unclear what the connection is between "Bogle" and various other similarly named creatures in various folklores. The "Bocan" of the Scottish Highlands, Highlands may be a cognate of the Norse Puck (mythology), Puki however, and thus also the English "Puck (mythology), Puck".''Quoth the maven'' by William Safire The ''Larne Weekly Reporter'' of 31 March 1866, in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, carried a front page article entitled Bogles in Ballygowan, detailing strange goings on in a rural area where a particular house became the target for missiles being thrown through windows and on one occasion through the roof. Local people were terrified. The occurrences appeared to have ceased after several months and were being blamed on the fact that the house in question had been refurbished using materials from an older house that was apparently the preserve of the "little people". This is one of the few references in Northern Ireland to "bogles" although the phrase "bogey man" is widely used.
See also* Bogeyman * Boggart * Wirry-cow