One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Frequently in form Raw-head. A bugbear or bogeyman, typically imagined as having a head in the form of a skull, or one whose flesh has been stripped of its skin, invoked to frighten children. Also occasionally: a skull.
2In allusive or figurative use.
Mid 16th century. From raw + head. Compare Bloody Bones and later raw-flesh, raw neck.
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