Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
BO, Bu, n.1 [bo: bu:]
1. A hobgoblin.Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 65; Cai.8 1934:
Bo, a “boakie,” a sprite.
†2. “Old fellow (contemptuous expr. for a man), a auld bo” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); 1914 Angus Gl.).
3. Combs.: (1) Bu-kow, “any thing frightful, as a scarecrow, applied also to a hobgoblin” (Sc. 1808 Jam. s.v. bu). [See Cowe, a fright.]
(2) Bo-, boo-, bu-man.
(a) “A bogey. The word is used to frighten children” (Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn. s.v. bo-man).Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff.2 1935:
Bu-man, a goblin; the devil, used as Bu-kow.Lnl. 1896 R. Fleming in Poets and Poetry of Lnlshire (ed. Bisset) 263:
Wheesht! losh there's the boo-man speakin', See, he's at the window keekin'.Gsw. 1898 D. Willox Poems and Sketches 258; ne., centr.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Kings, counsellors, and princes fair, As weel's the common ploughman, Hae maist their pleasures mix'd wi' care, An' dread some muckle boo-man.
†(b) “A good fairy, supposed to assist the family at Yule by threshing the corn while the household are asleep” (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.).Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
Buman, bu-man, a brownie. Also boman.
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