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A Bodach (plural Bodaich) is a mythical spirit or creature, rather like the goblin.

A bodach
"A bodach is a mythical beast of the British Isles, a sly thing that comes down chimneys during the night to carry away naughty children." - Dean Koontz (Forever Odd)

The word is a Scottish Gaelic term for "old man" although historically it was used as a pejorative term to refer to peasants or farmers (bothach) by the warrior class amongst the Scots. In Irish, bodach also means churl, clown; ScG, old or churlish person, serf, peasan. Some children's stories use the terms curmudgeon or the name Nod as a translation.

Today, the bodach is mainly used only to torment naughty children. In earlier times the bodach was more formidable; the bodach glas foretells death in Walter Scott's Waverley (1814).

Popular culture

  • Bodachs occasionally appear in Charles De Lint's books of mythic fiction.
  • The name Bodach is used to describe shadow-like creatures - invisible to most people - that appear at locations before disasters in the books Odd Thomas, Forever Odd and Brother Odd by Dean Koontz.
  • The name, if not other features, has been snatched to Dungeons and Dragons, by the name bodak.

See also