VIDEO FOR NIGHTMARE
WATCH NOW: The Scary History Behind The Word "Nightmare"
It's dark. You're alone. Was that a footstep? Did something just brush up against you? You fight to get up, but you're stuck ... right on top of you is a horrifying nightmare. Sorry, did you say a nightmare was on top of me?
LEARN THE SPANISH WORDS FOR THESE COMMON ANIMALS!
synonym study for nightmare
Words nearby nightmare
BEHIND THE WORD
Where does the word nightmare come from?
Nightmares are scary and unpleasant. But you can rest easy knowing that the fascinating origin of the word nightmare makes it clear humans have been having them for hundreds of years.
In Old English, a mare was a kind of evil or cursed spirit. Mares appear in all kinds of folklore, including German and Slavic stories. Mares were said to ride on people’s chests at night, causing suffocation and bad dreams. These mares, often female, were known as nightmares (because they came at night).
By the 16th century, the word nightmare came to refer to a sensation of suffocation or anxiety during sleep, and now simply a bad dream. While nightmares are terrifying, there is good news: at least most of us don’t worry about evil spirits trying to suffocate us in our sleep anymore.
The roots of these other words may get a rise—of laughter or surprise—out of you. Run on over to our roundup of them at “Weird Word Origins That Will Make Your Family Laugh.”
Did you know … ?
Nightmares can have many causes—but evil spirits aren’t one of them, despite what Freddy Krueger might say. Stress, eating before bed, medication side effects, and sleep disorders can all cause bad dreams. While children are more likely to have them, half of all adults also report regularly having nightmares.
In fact, nightmares are so familiar (and frightening) to people that the word nightmare has been metaphorically extended to any terrible thought, experience, or situation that resembles a nightmare (e.g., Being lost at sea was a living nightmare).
Worth noting: A night terror is a sudden feeling of extreme fear that awakens a sleeping person, usually during slow-wave sleep, but it is not associated with a dream or nightmare.
The -mare in nightmare doesn’t have anything to do with a mare as in an adult female horse. This homophony hasn’t stopped the card game Magic: The Gathering and other works of pop culture from concocting fictional demonic horse characters that terrify people at night and which go by punny names like Nightmare.
Example sentences from the Web for nightmare
This is a nightmare for the thief, because they have to decide how much time and risk they want to devote to the job.
Burleson is widely credited with establishing the “zone system” to determine mail costs, while DeJoy has been praised for his logistics-oriented approach by those who see the postal service as a money-losing bureaucratic nightmare.Trump Isn’t the First President to Use His Postmaster for Politics|Fiona Zublin|August 21, 2020|Ozy
We gave them a bunch of different scenarios and asked them to weight which were most likely to bring about their nightmares.What Economists Fear Will Happen Without More Unemployment Aid|Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux|August 11, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
The league denied Delle Donne a high-risk exemption, despite her Lyme disease, which triggered a PR nightmare for the WNBA, but the Mystics said this week she will still be paid her full salary.
The latest indication came from county supervisor candidate Nora Vargas, who posted on Facebook Thursday a nightmare story of her attempts to get tested for the virus due to exposure she experienced in the course of her campaign.Morning Report: How We Got Here With Smart Streetlights|Voice of San Diego|July 10, 2020|Voice of San Diego
You know, I feel the same way about that that I do about The Nightmare Before Christmas.Tim Burton Talks ‘Big Eyes,’ His Taste For the Macabre, and the ‘Beetlejuice’ Sequel|Marlow Stern|December 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
His lone stable was a girl from Newport News, Virginia, who had already escaped one nightmare.
“We challenge Mr. Cosby to end this nightmare,” proclaimed Gloria Allred.Two New Bill Cosby Accusers Come Forward: ‘We Challenge Mr. Cosby to End This Nightmare’|Marlow Stern|December 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Being buried alive is a nightmare that ranks alongside masked chainsaw-wielding madmen and enormous tarantulas.
If Bush-Portman is the Republican nightmare ticket for Democrats, however, they may be spared.Hillary Adviser: Bush-Portman Ticket Could Doom Dems in 2016|David Freedlander|November 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A nightmare is not always a sense of oppression on the chest only; it may be an overpowering dread of something you dream you see.Cecilia de Nol|Lanoe Falconer
The memory of an illness is very much like the memory of a nightmare.Notes on My Books|Joseph Conrad
Clara had a nightmare, and came near choking to death on Mr. Brewer's plaster—the locket, you know.Seeing France with Uncle John|Anne Warner
Her nightmare was the thought of her father's horror and grief.Saint's Progress|John Galsworthy
All this is, of course, the origin of the common superstition of the nightmare.Demonology and Devil-lore|Moncure Daniel Conway
British Dictionary definitions for nightmare
- an event or condition resembling a terrifying dreamthe nightmare of shipwreck
- (as modifier)a nightmare drive