boogeyman

(redirected from a bogeyman)

boogeyman

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.

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
A glib sociologist will tell you that a bogeyman is a mythical creature dreamed up by adults to frighten children into good behaviour, but not all of the supernatural entities that have terrified children over the years were created by adults - they seem to have had lives of their own; a case in point being Tattoo Jack.
ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- When I was a child, parents used to scare children by saying that a bogeyman would come for them if they continued to behave badly.
Ronnie is a bogeyman for a lot of people but Liang has been awkward for me too.
The need for a bogeyman, something to vex us or cause us to fear, is deep in our psyche.
There was a time when children used to be frightened with the concept of a bogeyman. We thought it was a good way to control behaviour.
When he is sold on by one master to another, called Xanthus, he offers to act as a bogeyman to frighten children into good behavior.
Martin plays George, who decides he is going to capture a Bogeyman and expose him to the world.
BLUNDERING Bank of Ireland had to reshoot its latest ad campaign - after giving a BOGEYMAN the same name as one of its customers.