nightmare dressed like a daydream


nightmare dressed like a daydream


  • Describes something that seems very pleasant or attractive at first but eventually reveals itself as horrible.
  • It may also describe a person who is sweet at first glance but is evil.
  • Daydream dressed like a nightmare is also used as a negative connotation of the original phrase.

Example Sentences

  1. Don’t let her beauty fool you. She’s just a nightmare dressed like a daydream.
  2. She seemed like a perfect dating partner at first, but it turned out that she was a nightmare dressed like a daydream.
  3. I know he has good grades, but he’s partying hard and seems to be a nightmare dressed like a daydream.
  4. I thought you were being mean when you said my new look was a nightmare dressed like a daydream, but I was wrong. As it turns out, the dress is hideously ugly.
  5. My ex-boyfriend was a nightmare dressed like a daydream at first. He was funny, kind, intelligent, and handsome. I thought he would be the perfect man for me, but later on, I found out that he also had an anger problem, was very self-centered and abusive.


The origin of the idiom “nightmare dressed like a daydream” or “daydream dressed like a nightmare” is thought to be Irish and Scottish folklore. In both cultures, it was believed that there were two distinct creatures; one that would appear as an attractive woman during the day and at night turn into a scary monster.

The phrase suddenly got huge popularity when it appeared in a song “Blank Space” by American singer Taylor Swift, released on November 10, 2014, to US radio stations as the second single from her fifth studio album, 1989. Swift co-wrote “Blank Space” with its producers, Max Martin and Shellback. In the song, Taylor Swift describes herself as a “nightmare dressed like a daydream”.

Here is the snippet of “Blank Space” lyrics where the idiom is being used.

“Screaming, crying, perfect storms
I can make all the tables turn
Rose garden filled with thorns
Keep you second guessing like
“Oh, my God, who is she?”
I get drunk on jealousy
But you’ll come back each time you leave
‘Cause, darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.”

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Chinese version: 披着羊皮的狼

‒ Kim Wei March 16, 2024

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