The Boogeyman Will Get You if You Don’t Watch Out!

As a child, I remember hearing the expression, “The Boogeyman Will Get You if You Don’t Watch Out!” The phrase recently popped into my mind and I was wondering where it came from. Was there more to the expression?

It may originally come from the James Whitcomb Riley poem “Little Orphant Annie” (circa 1890). Instead of a Boogeyman, it’s about a Goblin. Each verse ends with:

“An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you
Ef you

Then there was the “Stereoview card series from the 1920’s titled ‘The Goblins will get you if you don’t watch out’, after the 1885 poem ‘Little Orphant Annie’ by James Whitcomb Riley.” (Quote from Pinterest)

There’s also a movie from 1942 called, “The Boogey Man Will Get You,” starring Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre. It’s about a mad scientist who’s trying to use electricity to create a race of Super Humans.

Does anyone know more about this topic? Is so, please share in the comments below.

Meanwhile, don’t forget that, The Boogeyman will get you if you don’t watch out!


Mama Lisa

Credits for Movie Poster: May be found at this website, fair use.

This article was posted on Monday, August 1st, 2022 at 6:28 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, English, Folk Lore, Languages, Mama Lisa, The Boogeyman, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “The Boogeyman Will Get You if You Don’t Watch Out!”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Steven Bunche wrote, “Here’s the short version on the origin of the term “Boogie Man.” Or, as the English-speaking Europeans called him, “the Bogey Man.”

    And it’s a rather nebulous, all-purpose monster to put the frighteners on children. I remember hearing of it as a child and being quite afraid, simply because it was never properly defined. That’s why I find Michael Myers in HALLOWEEN to be so terrifying. Though originally human, he is stated in no uncertain terms to be the Boogie Man.

    Also, don’t forget the old souther/southern black term “booger,” which refers to spells and evil magic. As in “I’ll put a booger on you.” It should also be noted that in that context it’s pronounced “boo-gur.”

    My family is from Alabama and Mississippi. I may have been raised in south San Francisco and southern Connecticut, but I grew up with a heavy deep rural south influence, so I totally heard the expression. Usually said by bored ancient relatives who sought to entertain themselves by scaring the kids.

  2. Matt Says:

    I love questions like this. For a time I was obsessed with figuring out where the image of a ghost under a bedsheet came from. The answer? Impossible to find! It’s an image that seems to be as old as time, but I’d love to know at what point we all agreed a person wearing a white sheet is a ghost.

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