boogeyman(redirected from a bogeyman)
1. An imaginary, evil man who has supernatural abilities. I had a hard time getting the kids to go to bed—they're convinced that the boogeyman is going to come into their room at night.
2. By extension, anything that is deemed frightening or threatening, especially when such an opinion is unwarranted. The idea that minorities might move into certain neighborhoods is a constant societal boogeyman.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
boogieman(ˈbugimæn and ˈbʊgimæn)
n. an imaginary man who is said to frighten people; a false threat of any kind. Don’t turn me into a boogieman. Spank the child yourself.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.