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Mare in Nightmare

Unless you’re having a bad dream about equine creatures, a nightmare doesn’t have anything to do with horses. The mare in nightmare comes from an old word that means “goblin.” This is part of a complete episode.

Rest in the Arms of Morpheus

A San Diego woman says her mother always tucked her into bed with the comforting wish, “Sweet dreams, and rest in the arms of Morpheus.” This allusion to mythology evokes a time when people were more familiar with Greek myth, and the...


If you’ve ever had the experience of casting a dream film or TV episode in your head—say, putting Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller, both of whom play Sherlock Holmes on TV, in the same show together—that imaginary scenario comes from...

Pipe Dream

A pipe dream is “an unobtainable hope” or “an unrealistic fantasy.” The term originates from the idea of opium pipes and the strange dreams one might incur while high on opium. Back in the 1890s when the term first showed up...