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19 entries found.
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specter (n.)
c. 1600, "frightening ghost," from French spectre "an image, figure, ghost" (16c.), from Latin spectrum "appearance, vision, apparition" (see spectrum). Figurative sense "object of dread" is from 1774.
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spectre (n.)
chiefly British English spelling of specter (q.v.); for spelling, see -re.
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spectrum (n.)
1610s, "apparition, specter," from Latin spectrum (plural spectra) "an appearance, image, apparition, specter," from specere "to look at, view" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"). Meaning "visible band showing the successive colors, formed from a beam of light passed through a prism" first recorded 1670s. Figurative sense of "entire range (of something)" is from 1936.
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boggart (n.)
also boggard, specter, goblin, sprite," especially one supposed to haunt a particular spot, 1560s; see bug (n.).
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raw-head (n.)
also rawhead, name of a nursery specter or "scare-child" (usually coupled with bloody-bones), early 16c., from raw (adj.) + head (n.).
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bogey (n.1)
World War II aviator slang for "unidentified aircraft, presumably hostile," probably ultimately from bogge, a variant of Middle English bugge "a frightening specter" (see bug (n.)).

Thus it shares ancestry with many dialect words for "ghost, specter," such as bog/bogge (attested 16c.-17c.), bogeyman (16c.), boggart "specter that haunts a gloomy spot" (c. 1570, in Westmoreland, Lancashire, Cheshire, and Yorkshire). The earliest modern form appears to be Scottish bogle "ghost," attested from c. 1500 and popularized c. 1800 in English literature by Scott, Burns, etc.
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wraith (n.)
1510s, "ghost," Scottish, of uncertain origin. Weekley and Century Dictionary suggest Old Norse vorðr "guardian" in the sense of "guardian angel." Klein points to Gaelic and Irish arrach "specter, apparition."
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eidolon (n.)
1801, "a shade, a specter," from Greek eidolon "appearance, reflection in water or a mirror," later "mental image, apparition, phantom," also "material image, statue, image of a god, idol," from eidos "form, shape" (see -oid). By 1881 in English as "a likeness, an image."
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boggle (v.)
1590s, "to start with fright (as a startled horse does), shy, take alarm," from Middle English bugge "specter" (among other things, supposed to scare horses at night); see bug (n.); also compare bogey (n.1), boggart. The meaning " hesitate, stop as if afraid to proceed in fear of unforeseen difficulties" is from 1630s; that of "confound, cause to hesitate" is from 1640s. As a noun from 1650s. Related: Boggled; boggling; boggler (from c. 1600 as "one who hesitates").
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fetch (n.1)

"apparition of a living person, specter, a double," 1787, an English dialect word of unknown origin (see OED for discussion).

A peculiarly weird type of apparition is the wraith (q.v.) or double, of which the Irish fetch is a variant. The wraith is an exact facsimile of a living person, who may himself see it. Goethe, Shelley, and other famous men are said to have seen their own wraiths. The fetch makes its appearance shortly before the death of the person it represents, either to himself or his friends, or both. [Lewis Spence, "An Encyclopedia of Occultism," 1920]
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