Adventures & Insights

One man's adventures in the physical and intellectual worlds…

Nachtreverie? Dozefancy? Sandmanfling?

There is no antonym for “Nightmare”. This fact vexes me greatly.

This morning I was talking to a friend of mine and she told me about her unpleasant night’s sleep due to a recurring nightmare she has been plagued with for most of her life. My heart sank to hear this and long after it settled heavily in my small intestine I was still thinking about how it seems that nightmares have a nasty habit of showing up again and again. Now I have a theory about why.

Good dreams don’t have a name, that’s why.

We’ve given nightmares their own noun for crying out loud; why wouldn’t they keep coming back? Now they’re known, they’re a somebody. I wouldn’t give that up either. But good dreams? Nice, fun, exciting dreams? What do we call them? They have no names. Nightmares also have the “bad dreams” reference by default so we’re not really helping the situation by leaving good dreams all alone there. Would you want to keep hanging around somewhere when nobody knew your name?

In order to combat nightmares, particularly recurring ones, we need to have a name by which to call the pleasant dreams. Surely I’m not the only person in the World who has thought about this. In fact, I know that I’m not. Yahoo Answers and Answerbag have connected me with at least two other people who want an answer to this question – “What is the opposite of nightmare?” Obviously, concern is gripping the World.

While technically yes, daystallion IS the opposite of nightmare, it doesn’t help me in my quest to label the awesome dreams so that we can bring them back to our memory and hopefully work their recurrence into our psyches. If we cannot eliminate the nightmare altogether, we should at least have a counterpart for it to give us something to aspire to in our dreaming state!

I’m very interested to hear your thoughts on this. Have you coined a term that identifies a really great dream you’ve had? Do you have any thoughts on how to combat the recurrence of nightmares? Should I start emailing my local member of Parliament about this? Something needs to be done! I’m so determined to take some kind of action that I don’t even know where to begin!

At the moment, all I can do is offer encouragement to my wonderful friend concerning her nightmares. That’s not enough for me. Simply wishing someone “sweet dreams” doesn’t cut it in this particular situation. I need to be able to say something like “Hey, don’t worry about it at all. Before you know it, the dozefancies will roll in and annihilate those silly nightmares. You just wait and see.”

Yeah. I like the sound of that. πŸ™‚


66 responses to “Nachtreverie? Dozefancy? Sandmanfling?

  1. ....the little thread of thoughts November 5, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Interesting that nightmare has no antonym. The closest I came across was ‘day-mares’. Personally, I like day-stallion better. Maybe there was never supposed to be an antonym for it. Come to think of it, we always say goodnight and sweet dreams, not sweet “day-stallions”. Maybe we need to ask the Greeks, Oneiros or Morpheus. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much luck with the Romans and the Celts.

  2. ....the little thread of thoughts November 5, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Antonym for nightmare !! Ironic that there isn’t one yet. The one that I came across is “day-mare”. Personally, day-stallion sounds better. Maybe the antonym was never meant to be there. Come to think of it, we always say goodnight and sweet dreams not day mares !! Maybe in Greek, Oneiros or Morpheus may have some answers. Not a fan of Latin, so didn’t explore there. Celtic didn’t bring me much luck either.

  3. andrewcl November 3, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    The nice dreams for me are simlpy DREAMS, the bad ones – Nightmares.
    Nice post.

  4. inidna November 2, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Funny, I was just thinking about nightmares and dozefancies (I like that!) right before looking through WordPress blogs and finding this! I’ve had a lot of these moments lately. I’m taking this as a sign. A sign of what? I’m not quite sure yet. But for now, I suggest you go to Urbandictionary (or the like) and making Dozefancy official; if it’s on Urbandictionary everyone will know it! πŸ˜‰

  5. partialview November 2, 2010 at 12:33 am

    It is such a great thought to circulate! I searched the internet (after having realised I hadn’t really EVER thought of an antonym for nightmares), and found nothing. Way to go! You’ve got us marching on a good cause. Hopefully a word will be coined. Will decrease the negativity a little.

  6. BHavEEka November 1, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Very interesting post! made me think twice, but also couldn’t guess the opposite of “nightmare”, in my mother language the opposite is so easy, but in English I can hardly find the exact word other than you have mentioned. Let’s just simplify and say “Happy Dreams” πŸ™‚
    I liked the most very much!!!

  7. agardenfriend November 1, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Curious as ever, I searched and found the following at “Could not find Opposite of ‘nightmare’, but found closest match: Opposite of naked-muzzled”
    Do you suppose those wonderful dreams are really “naked-muzzled?”
    Enjoyed your post immensely. Thanks for the smiles.

  8. gnarlyoak November 1, 2010 at 6:47 am

    nightmares are underrated. you can learn so much from them.

  9. ragrobyn October 31, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I am SO EXCITED for you on being Freshly Pressed!!! Congratulations! You are so deserving and I can proudly say … I knew you when πŸ˜‰

  10. bearyweather October 31, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Oh My! I have been so busy I missed your Freshly Pressed appearance … I am so sorry … and CONGRATULATIONS!
    Like one of your other commenters mentioned … I thought dream was the word for the good things that go on in our mind while we sleep. And a nightmare was a totally different bad thing. However, I think it is an interesting idea to have a name for the really great dreams. Most other things in life have 3 categories like size (large, medium, small) or temperature (hot, warm, cold).
    I have a very warm, comfortable affection for the old fashioned “sweet dreams” so, I would like that one to stay in contention.
    Brightmare and Nightbliss are good, too … but, now that I have written out that little phrase I see that both words have a blatant reminder of “nightmare” in them … and subliminally wishing someone one of those two might lead a tired mind to a nightmare instead. I think the new word has to be totally free of any connection to nightmare.
    My first submission is a “delighter” … and I will keep thinking.
    … I love the word bliss, it would be great to play off of that word somehow
    … blisster … oh no, wait, a blister is something else entirely … ;0)

    • OpentoAdventure October 31, 2010 at 9:57 am

      It’s been very exciting and there’s absolutely no need for you to apologise, thank you for taking the time to read!

      There are quite a few good suggestions, maybe with a little luck people will start using a word that might one day make it into the dictionary. In the meantime though I guess we’ll all just have to do what we can. πŸ™‚

  11. RenΓ©e A. Schuls-Jacobson October 31, 2010 at 1:08 am

    When I’ve had a great dream, I usually wake up and say, “I just had some serious, subliminal night-joy!” I see someone else mentioned night-joy, too! How funny! It is odd that we don’t have a word for a positive dream. Must be part of our weird American pathos. (Just as we are afraid to know our neighbors but have a zillion “friends” online, we would prefer to have nightmares instead of day-stallions. What’s wrong with us? I sooooo want a day-stallion πŸ˜‰

    I didn’t even realize you’d been Freshly Pressed! Congratulations! Our little clique seems to be taking over WordPress! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

    • OpentoAdventure October 31, 2010 at 9:33 am

      That’s a very good way to put it, it certainly is a strange time we’re living in!

      Muhahahaha, we are finally realizing our dream of WordPress Domination! Thanks for the congrats and the comment RenΓ©e, it’s always nice to hear from you! πŸ™‚

  12. educlaytion October 30, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I may have to use the Daystallion idea in class at some random point. More importantly, we need fill this hole in western civilization. After all, nature abhors a vacuum. I’ve never realized we don’t have a word for something so common.

    My first thought was Snoozledozer, but that’s got a little too much Willy Wonka in it. Now I’m onto Brightmare since -mare apparently has some relation to dreaming. Then again there’s the obvious combo of good and dream or Gream. Suddenly I feel like I’m writing dialogue for my favorite show Psych, so I’m happy. Maybe I’ll have a real Snoozledozer tonight.

  13. marlowesnymph October 30, 2010 at 9:39 am

    This is amazing. I have had a recurring nightmare all my life, and it would be great to combat it with a positive antonym. I quite enjoy daystallion actually. Sandmanfling is nice. The Sandman’s Kiss? It sounds like either an adult beverage or an old school noir film to me though. “Hey Steve, how are you?” “Oh great, just had a kiss from the ole Sandman.” Hmm…I’ll keep thinking.

  14. sayitinasong October 30, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I never thought the word Nightmare not having an antonym… love all the suggestions here though! Great post- got a lot of nice convo going!

  15. blisstrack October 29, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I read the post and I discover there’s no word in Spanish either for nightmares. Nigthmares is “pesadillas”, well at least in Costa Rica. My proposal in Spanish is “suepazitos” that is a mix of dreams (sueΓ±os) and peace (paz), and I like how it sounds. In English of course I liked the one that propouse nigthbliss πŸ˜€ I like the word bliss…. obviously. πŸ˜€ Congrats for freshly pressed, you deserve it, you are a great writer and person. πŸ™‚

  16. lbwong October 29, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Here I was thinking this was a post about your puppy who sleeps a lot πŸ™‚ What a interesting topic to stir the mind! Guess I’ll have to “sleep on it” to think of a possible name for good dreams. Till than, love the ones you came up with! Congrats on Freshly Pressed as well, LB

  17. Diane @ home sweet homemade October 29, 2010 at 7:29 am

    “Obviously, concern is gripping the World.”
    This is an excellent point and makes me laugh at the absurdity and absolute truth!

    What does the proverbial sandman bring us? Presumably only pleasant dreams. I guess he should just step up and tell us what they are called for goodness sakes!

    Too funny. πŸ™‚

  18. joshsuds October 29, 2010 at 7:26 am

    I love “daystallion!” I laughed out loud when I read that. Imagine waking up and telling your roommate/husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend, “I had a daystallion about eating ice cream while winning the lottery.”

  19. meganhorn October 29, 2010 at 6:21 am

    I’ve always thought of good dreams as “dreams” and bad dreams as “nightmares.”

  20. Evie Garone October 29, 2010 at 6:08 am

    I love dozefancies! How interesting and such a flight of fancy!! I vote for it!!! I am sorry for your friend, and I wish her a dozen dozefancies also! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  21. Sunflowerdiva October 29, 2010 at 5:44 am

    Very interesting post. I don’t call good dreams anything, but I write the dream down somewhere (if I can remember it) to use in the future. Combating bad dreams? I’m not sure. If you keep having the same dream over and over, chances are that you’ll know what’s coming ahead. So wake up ASAP. This happened to me a few times, having the same nightmare, only I knew what was going to happen so I woke up before I got to that part. But other than that, I’m not sure what to do. Go to a therapist, maybe. Just joking! Maybe try to think about the deeper meanings of the dream? Has it got your friends in it? Anything to do with a horror movie you just saw? Is it about life and your own troubles? Haha–I’ll stop rambling now! So congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

    • OpentoAdventure October 29, 2010 at 8:29 am

      Thank you for reading it and commenting, I’m glad you liked this post. πŸ™‚

      Recurring nightmares are no good at all, there are a few ways to approach them. We’ll just have to figure out which way will work the best and in the meantime we can also try to get the dozefancies in!

  22. She.Is.Just.A.Rat October 29, 2010 at 5:09 am

    I’ve most recently been musing about the oddities I experience in my dreams. I consider the nightmares dreams too…just fantastically horrific ones. I have to say, I’d be most upset if I were one of those individuals who couldn’t remember their dreams.

    • OpentoAdventure October 29, 2010 at 8:25 am

      We can get up to some real shenanigans in our dreams can’t we? It’s often fun to remember some of those dreams, it is a shame that not everyone does. Thank you for stopping by. πŸ™‚

  23. notesfromrumbleycottage October 29, 2010 at 4:24 am

    What a conumdrum! No word or phrase in our language for good dreams. Perhpas we need to make one up.

  24. Kate Cook October 29, 2010 at 3:55 am

    I LOVE this post. As an English major taking a linguistics requirement right now, the idea of words, their power, and their derivations is fascinating to me. One thing I’ve learned is that languages develop words they need — one Arabic language, for instance, has several dozen unique words to specify different types/situations to do with camels, an integral part of the economy and culture there — so perhaps we’re too preoccupied with the negative/fear (“nightmares”) to coin a term for good dreams? Anyways, congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • OpentoAdventure October 29, 2010 at 8:19 am

      Thank you so much! I’m blown away by being Freshly Pressed; it’s quite exciting! We definitely need to start occupying ourselves with the positive here, nightmares have held too much power and it’s got to stop.

      Good luck with your studies, English and languages have always roused my interest as well. I’m sure you will do well in such an interesting field! πŸ™‚

  25. GKrishnan October 29, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Brilliant ! You seem to be on to something big. Calpurnia had a nightmare and tried to cajole her hubby Caesar into not going into the Senate, where as it turned out, he was assassinated. Dostoyevsky in his “Crime and Punishment” has his protagonist having a recurring nightmare of a horse that is dead, yet continues to be flogged. Sigmund Freud researched extensively into dreams – more likely nightmares.
    Hope for the sake of mankind, you hit the nail on the head !

  26. Crystal Cranmore October 29, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Wow, this is pretty interesting. I must say I was drawn to this post because unlike other people in my family, I dream and I dream a lot. I dream about everything from the good, the bad to the ugly. I have had dreams where I felt like my grandmother was trying to tell me something (bless her soul). I have had dreams where people were trying to kill me. And I have had dreams where I was in a beautiful place and to wake up was the nightmare. But you are right, nightmares have been given their own level of respect. We make movies out of them for goodness sake (i.e. Nightmare on Elm Street). I will join you on your quest to figure out a name for good dreams.

  27. Catherine October 29, 2010 at 2:52 am

    Haha, can’t say I’ve ever thought about this but you make a good point. I’d love there to be a word that you can say when you wake up from an amazing dream. When you wake up from a nightmare, your partner says, “What’s wrong?” and you say, “Oh, I just had a nightmare.” I want someone to say to me, “You look happy! What’s up?” And I say, “Oh, I just had a XXXX.” Insert word for amazingly good dream. Why is our language so flawed?

    • OpentoAdventure October 29, 2010 at 8:08 am

      It’s one of my life goals. Our language has its issues, that’s for sure! Maybe one day we’ll have a word because as you say, it would be great to be able to tell people that you had such a great dream using a word that truly conveys the awesomeness of the dream.

      Thanks for commenting, I’m glad things are going so well with you and Chef! πŸ™‚

  28. Circe October 29, 2010 at 2:27 am

    I like all of the options you’ve listed, but what about nightsweets

  29. Ava Aston's Muckery October 29, 2010 at 2:13 am

    I call them “freams” fun + dreams = freams. I love my freams.



  30. Pamela October 29, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Loved this post! How about dreamphilly? Or nightbliss? Lol.

  31. lifeintheboomerlane October 29, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Love this post. “Daystallion” is very funny. I have yet to read an explanation of what dreams are (the good and the bad) that makes sense to me. When I was little, I had two recurring great dreams: flying and lying on the railroad tracks with a train rolling over me, with all the Sunday comics pasted to the underside of the train. Best. Dream. Ever.

    • OpentoAdventure October 29, 2010 at 7:50 am

      Thank you for taking the time to read it, there’s a lot to be said for interpretation. I like flying dreams myself, but I wonder if pilots think those dreams are boring…

      What a dream to have as a child – a train with all the Sunday comics pasted to the bottom of it rolling over you! That sounds pretty awesome to me!

  32. CrystalSpins October 29, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Great point. It’s funny because I have about ten reoccurring dreams and they are all unpleasant. While I do have pleasant dream (mostly sexy ones…um, nightgasms?) none of them are reoccurring. Very interesting. There has to be someone out there who has reoccurring nightjoys?


  33. Mikalee Byerman October 29, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Daystallion? Awesome. I may have to start using that one with my kids — until you successfully petition Parliament! πŸ˜‰

  34. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife October 29, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Great question! I have never thought of that before. So nightmare is for bad dreams, a dream is a regular dream but a good dream is … not sure, have to think about that one. Nice post!

  35. ragrobyn October 28, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Dozefancy is a marvelous word! Copywrite it!

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