- We construct a "pseudo-supersymmetric" fermionic extension of the effective action of the bosonic string in arbitrary spacetime dimension D. The theory is invariant under pseudo-supersymmetry transformations up to the quadratic fermion order, which is sufficient in order to be able to derive Killing spinor equations in bosonic backgrounds, and hence to define BPS type solutions determined by a system of first-order equations. The pseudo-supersymmetric theory can be extended by coupling it to a Yang-Mills pseudo-supermultiplet. This also allows us to construct "' corrections" involving quadratic curvature terms. An exponential dilaton potential term, associated with the conformal anomaly for a bosonic string outside its critical dimension, can also be pseudo-supersymmetrised. 2011 Elsevier B.V.