Part of speech: noun
Origin: Celtic, mid 18th century
An imaginary object that inspires needless fright
A problem that persists
Examples of Bugaboo in a sentence
"In popular culture, the bugaboo of bloodthirsty clowns rears its head every few years."
"The recurring computer virus was the bugaboo that plagued the office for weeks."
Popularity Over Time
A bugaboo is an imaginary figure that strikes fear into the hearts of unsuspecting victims, and the somewhat nebulous “boogeyman” is a prime example. In fact, while the word’s exact source is unknown, one potential explanation for its origins is bugbear, a fanciful demon from the 1500s who took the form of a bear and ate children.
Did you Know?
The history of bugaboo is not entirely clear, though it's likely that it derives from the Welsh word "bogy," meaning "the devil."