spook / spo͞ok
1. a ghost or phantom
When the spooks have a midnight jamboree
They break it up with fiendish glee
Ghosts are bad, but the one that’s cursed
Is the Headless Horseman, he’s the worst
Lyrics from the song “The Headless Horseman” from the 1949 Disney movie “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad”
2. a spy
You don’t need to be a spook to care about encryption.
Barton Gellman, 1960 –
1. to frighten or make nervous
Weddings have always spooked me.
Brin-Jonathan Butler, 1979 –
2. to become frightened
Journalism, spooked by rumors of its own obsolescence, has stopped believing in itself.
Maureen Dowd, 1952 –
3. to haunt
The ghosts go spooking one by one,
the little one stops to have some fun.
And they all go spooking out in the night, to cause a big fright.
From “The Ghosts Go Spooking” by Chrissy Bozik, ? –
A Dutch word meaning “ghost,” “spirit,” or “apparition.”
Thank you to Allen Ward for providing this etymology.