Though these days the term wordmonger refers to "a writer or speaker who uses language pretentiously or carelessly," please join me in proposing a new meaning. A fishmonger appreciates and promotes fish, therefore, a wordmonger does the same for words.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dream

Dream

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 word dream & its cognates picked up and then lost some intriguing meanings which include but aren’t limited to:

-joy, pleasure, gladness, mirth, rejoicing
-music
-merriment
-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
-a reverie

And those are only the nouns. Dream’s verb forms deserve an entry of their own.

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.

8 comments:

  1. My roommates have always complained about my snoring. But now I know I was dreaming and making a joyful noise! This is one funny language, Mr. Monger.

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    1. How could those ungrateful roomies not recognize your joyful noisemaking?

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  2. Bob and I were just talking about dreams this A.M. I usually remember bits and pieces and he does as well but we tend to dream of distant places and people we don't know. (Calling Shirley MacLaine here who if I remember correctly thinks dreams are portals into our past lives.) Hmm. Maybe. I'd love it to mean wild fancy or hope but I have a feeling mine are mostly states of abstraction I'm just not smart enough to figure out when I awake. :) Great post as always, Charlie. Paul

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    1. Paul, I have similarly state-of-abstraction dreams. Sure would be sweet to swap 'em in for joy or merriment, eh?

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  3. I love this. Sounds like we all walk around "dreaming" all day in one way or another. As for those sleeping dreams...mine are also usually the "state-of-abstraction" type. Love that phrase!

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    1. Hey Christine - thanks for coming by & dreaming with me.

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  4. Reminds me of one of my favorite sound: https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla&p=dreams+are+made+of#id=2&vid=da44d00722e47b6d4fe43a4c6b22c7f6&action=click
    (Annie Lennox)

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