Let's Bring Back 'Sweven' and Make Our Dreams Sound Interesting

Updated April 19, 2022
Young woman sleeping
    Young woman sleeping
    fizkes / iStock / Getty Images Plus
    Used under Getty Images license

All of us have swevens for the future. In fact, most of us had swevens last night (hopefully good ones). Don’t know what a sweven is? Neither do your friends — but you can fix that by bringing this Middle English word into your everyday conversations.

Once Upon a Dream

A sweven is a dream or vision. Depending on your translation from the Old English swefn, it can mean a vision for the future (you walking down the aisle with your childhood crush) or an actual sleeping dream (you walking down the aisle with your childhood crush, but they become a zombie and infect the entire wedding party). Either way, sweven is a new-but-old way to describe any type of dream.

Scary Swevens

Another type of dream that could be a sweven is a spooky one, such as a dreamlike premonition or haunting vision. That creepy floating thing you’re sure you saw that one time in the hallway? That could have been a sweven. So could that terrifying moment you saw a terrible accident flash before your eyes but then it didn’t happen, or that time you heard someone whisper in your ear but no one was there — that could be a sweven too. (Sorry for the reminder; hopefully you don’t have bad swevens because of it.)



How To Use It Today

Unless you make a living as a dream interpreter, you may not get too many chances to mention swevens in your daily life. But there’s one surefire way to bring sweven back to the 21st-century: add it to common idioms in place of the word dream. For example:

  • She’s the woman of my swevens.
  • This job is a sweven come true.
  • We’re living the American sweven!
  • One day, I’d love to move to the city. but for now it’s just a pipe sweven.
  • You’re asking us to stay late on a Saturday? Sweven on!
  • Look at that guy — what a sweven boat!
  • After all these years, we’re finally building our sweven house.
  • Tom won the lottery and is rich beyond his wildest swevens.
  • Do what you love and follow your swevens.
  • Sleep well, darling. Sweet swevens.

More Somniative Synonyms for ‘Sweven’

We admit, sweven can be a bit of a mouthful (and can sound distractingly like seven). If you want to talk about dreams or visions in a different way, try out:

  • apparition - a ghostlike vision
  • chimera - a wish that’s difficult or impossible to reach (also a mythological beast)
  • phantasm - a scary illusion or dream
  • phantasmagoria - a dreamlike state that feels both real and unreal
  • reverie - a fanciful daydream
  • somniation - the act of dreaming

Sweven A Little Sweven of Me