In written Old English the word dream meant one thing and one thing only: make a joyful noise. Other written records suggest our modern meaning of dream may have been spoken by Old English speakers, but by the time Middle English ruled, the modern meaning of dream took a several-century snooze.
Along the way, the noun dream & its cognates picked up and then lost some intriguing meanings which include but aren’t limited to:
-joy, pleasure, gladness, mirth, rejoicing
-a cherished desire
-deception, illusion, phantasm
-a train of thoughts, images or fancies passing through the mind during sleep
-a fancy voluntarily indulged in while awake
-a state of abstraction or trance
-a wild fancy or hope
And those are only the nouns. Dream’s verb forms deserve an entry of their own.
If you've got two whole minutes, consider checking out the dreamy fingerstyle guitar work of the amazing Sungha Jung, playing his original song, Dreaming.
So, which of the above meaning(s) would you like to infiltrate your dreams?
Thanks to this week’s sources, etymonline.com, the OED, & carl-jung.net & wordnik.com.
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I write for teens, narrate audio books, bake bread, play music, and ponder the wonder of words in a foggy little town on California's central coast.
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