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."
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."