[Ads-l] "Boogeyman" variant

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 6 03:06:14 UTC 2015

"Boogerman" is a variant traceable to 1847 in Google Books. By coincidence,
this string is much older as a Dutch surname.


Littell's Living Age ... Volume 15 - Page 413
Boston, 1847
-- they heard [Jim] scream, " The _booger man_ has got me, "...

According to what seems to be a true story, these were the last words heard
from a 2-and-1/2-year-old white child, James W. [sic], afterward "White
Jim," as he was being kidnapped by a passing band of the local First Nation
in Nova Scotia, in 1827.

It doesn't show up again till 1892, in the work of Joel Chandler Harris. As
Wilson Pickett once rhetorically asked, "Y'all know him, don't you?"

IAC, "boogerman" is still appearing in print, as of 2014.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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