The Scottish Bodach

A Bodach is a mythical spirit or creature, rather like the bogeyman. The word is a Scottish Gaelic term for “old man”. Historically its meaning is “mature person”, from bod “penis” and the suffix -ach, literally “someone who has a penis”.

The bodach was said to slip down the chimney and steal or terrorize little children. He would prod, poke, pinch, pull and in general disturb the child until he had them reeling with nightmares. According to the stories of most parents, the bodach would only bother bad or naughty children. A good defense would be to put salt in the hearth before bedtime. The bodach will not cross salt.`




About Amanda Moffet

I run with Rodger Moffet. Live in Edinburgh and love travelling around Scotland gathering stories.

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2 thoughts on “The Scottish Bodach

  1. Wesley Parish

    So on account of my gender I’m … oh, never mind! 🙂 (Cheerful grin)

    The word is Gaelic, both Scots and Erse – does the same folkloric creature occur in Lowlands Scotland as well?


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