Sweet dreams!

to dream on
Image by unknown

This meme uses word play, it takes the literal meaning of ‘dream on’ and the expressive meaning of ‘dream on’.

There are a few examples of where adding the preposition ‘on’ after a verb to make a phrasal verb results in the preposition ‘on’ being understood as ‘continue’. For example:

go on – go ahead/continue

play on – continue playing

walk on – continue walking


In this case ‘dream on’ literally means, continue dreaming. However, ‘Dream on!’ is also used as an expression, and is usually used to answer an emphatic, ‘No’, to a question.

‘Not only is the answer no, but the only way that the answer will ever be a yes is in your dreams!’

For example:

9 year old boy:       “Dad can I borrow the keys to your Ferrari?”

Dad:                         “Dream on!

In the meme the boss has given the duck a definitive answer of ‘no’ but the duck decides to apply the literal meaning of the response and continues sleeping.


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