"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Friday, 23 March 2012

You just broke my dream

Jo just said some thing which reminded me of a dream I had had last night so I said to her 'You just broke my dream.' That made me think about the expression. This colloquialism means that someone or something has just occurred to remind one of a dream which had occurred previously.

I haven't been able to find out when the expression was first used - it's not in my copies of Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.


  1. I've never heard this one. The closest I can think of is "Deja vu." (This seems to have happened before.)

  2. I never heard that expression. I'm not sure I'd have understood the meaning. A similar phrase in Swedish means to crush someone's hope.

  3. I remember my mother using that expression. Her background was Hertfordshire and Peterborough, Northants.

  4. My Mum was from Mitcham, Surrey, born 1913, and she used it frequently. I was born and raised in the U.S., and I've never heard it used in American English. I thinks it's best expressed as a sort of startling deja vu that spans the real and the surreal of the dream. Eery when one intrudes on the other. Mum would use it when one of the family did or said something that she had dreamed of, usually that very night.