Bauk (Serbian: Баук, Serbian pronunciation: [bauk]) is an animal-like mythical creature in Serbian mythology. The bauk is described as hiding in dark places, holes, or abandoned houses, waiting to grab, carry away, and devour its victim; but it can be scared away by light and noise. It has a clumsy gait (bauljanje), and its onomatopea is bau (Serbian pronunciation: [bau]).
Interpretation of the bauk's attributes leads to the conclusion that the bauk is actually a description of real bears, which were already regionally extinct in some parts of Serbia and known only as legend. The word "bauk" was initially used as a hypocorism.
In popular culture
Bauk is used as the translation for goblin in Serbian editions of works of J. R. R. Tolkien, first translated by Mary and Milan Milišić. Bauk is also used as the translation for the Imp in the Serbian edition of A Song of Ice and Fire series, translated by Nikola Pajvančić.
- Kulišić, Špiro (1970). "Баук". In Kulišić, Špiro; Petrović, Petar Ž.; Pantelić, Nikola. Српски митолошки речник (in Serbian). Belgrade: Nolit. p. 20.
- Tolkien, J. R. R. (1986). Hobit [The Hobbit] (in Serbian). translated by Meri & Milan Milišić. Belgrade: Nolit. p. 65. ISBN 86-19-00897-8. COBISS.SR 31269383.
- Martin, G. R. R. (2003). Igra prestola [A Game of Thrones] (in Serbian). translated by Nikola Pajvančić. Belgrade: Laguna. p. 37, corresponding to page 34 (beginning of chapter "Eddard") of an English edition. ISBN 86-7436-099-8. COBISS.SR 107207180.
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