Okay, okay, I know. It was the 90s. This is what we thought was funny back then.
But I had reason to think of this comic last week at work, when various factors led me to verify a statement made by one of our columnists by looking up the Wikipedia page for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. That, of course, resulted in me looking up several other related pages, as that’s what Wikipedia was designed for. I ended up on the page for Lucy Westenra, the character whose encounter with Dracula ends rather badly. When I read Dracula in high school, I noted its odd use of the term “bloofer lady,” which children characters use to describe what is eventually revealed to be the vampire of Lucy, who stalks the countryside after her death and preys upon villagers. In the context of the story, I just assumed that “bloofer lady” was some regional British term for “boogeyman” to the point where that assumption sat, unattended and mostly useless in the back of my mind, as a sort of female counterpart for “boogeyman.” “Bloofer Lady, meet Boogeyman. You’ll hit it off, I think.” A nice matching pair, I think, not unlike Elephant Man and Buffalo Gal.
Not the case, necessarily. People disagree on the subject, but the prevailing interpretation of the phrase is that “bloofer lady” is garbled childspeak for “beautiful lady.” Some annotated versions of the book postulate that, in any case.
Votes in favor of “bloofer” meaning “beautiful”:
- English Forums.com
- The Valve, which posits that it came from Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend, which uses the word “boofer lady” to apparently mean “beautiful lady”
- EduQnA.com, which also offers the less plausible interpretation of it being a garbled version of “bloodsucker”
- And this site, which features fan art of Bloodsucker Lucy