Brag (folklore)

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A brag or braag is a mischievous shapeshifting goblin in the folklore of Northumbria (Northumberland and Durham[1]) and often takes the form of a horse or donkey.[1][2][3] It is fond of letting unsuspecting humans ride on its back before bucking them off into a pond or bush and running away laughing. One notable example is the Picktree Brag that was said to take other unusual forms such as a calf with a white handkerchief around its neck, a naked headless man, and even four men holding a white sheet.[1][2][3] A brag at Humbleknowe was never seen but made hideous noises in the night.[1]

Popular culture[edit]

Gary the Horse, from the webcomic Bad Machinery, identifies himself as a brag after bucking Shauna Wickle into the water after convincing her to take a ride on his back.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Simpson, Jacqueline (2000). A Dictionary of English Folklore. Oxford University Press. p. 32. ISBN 9780192100191
  2. ^ a b Henderson, William (1879). Folklore of the Northern Counties of England and the Borders (2nd ed.) W. Satchell, Peyton & Co. p. 270.
  3. ^ a b Briggs, Katharine (1976). An Encyclopedia of Fairies. Pantheon Books. p. 36. ISBN 0394409183.
  4. ^ "Bad Machinery: The Big Hiatus August 5, 2016". Retrieved 9 June 2017.