bucca-boo


bucca-boo
   , bucca-boo
   The Cornish spelling of a Celtic word for various supernatural creatures, usually frightening *bogeys; it is ultimately from the same root as *bogey and *puck. In Cornwall, it was 'a spirit it was once thought necessary to propitiate'; fishermen, tin-miners, and harvesters would deliberately leave a few scraps of their food for him, and spill a few drops of beer. Children were told to stop crying, or the bucca-boo would come and carry them off. Some said there were two buc-cas, one white and kindly, the other black and dangerous. Fishermen applied the name to a sea goblin of some sort, causing a 19th-century vicar to refer to the bucca-boo as 'the storm-god of the old Cornish'; marks on a certain pile of rocks were said to be traces of fishing nets he stole, turned to stone when he heard a church choir sing the Creed (Courtney, 1890: 79, 129).

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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