from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A specter mentioned to frighten children.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A specter; a nursery bugbear of frightful aspect: usually coupled with bloody-bones.
- n. The cream which rises on the surface of raw milk, or milk that has not been heated.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
In 1828 he complains that he has been annoyed by a lady, because he had printed "in the 'Review'" a rawhead and bloody-bones story of her father, Major
Still, that would not have answered; even the biographer's enemy could not be cruel enough to ask him to let this real grievance, this compact and substantial and picturesque figure, this rawhead-and-bloody-bones, come striding in there among those pale shams, those rickety spectres labeled WET-NURSE, BONNET-SHOP, and so on -- no, the father of all malice could not ask the biographer to expose his pathetic goblins to a competition like that.
A good story of more recent date, I must also note, of a well-known priest in Dublin, who being asked by Mr. Balfour one day whether the people under his charge took for gospel all the rawhead and bloody-bones tales about himself, replied, "Indeed, I wish they only feared and hated the devil half as much as they do you!"
He indemnified himself, however, by the liberal allowance of desperate battles, grisly executions, and rawhead and bloody-bone stories, with which he astonished the servants 'hall.