Mudcat Café message #3356785 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9703   Message #3356785
Posted By: GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison
29-May-12 - 10:01 AM
Thread Name: John of Dreams - who IS John?
Subject: RE: John of Dreams - who IS John?
540. John-a-dreams, i.e. John of dreams, = a sluggish, sleepy, fellow; cp. Jack-a-lent, Jack-a-lantern, Jack-an-apes, etc.

Pretty much what I expected then, though of the two possible interpretations, I think I preferred the other, the Will O' The Wisp, as it seemed to resonate better with the verb 'peak' (waste away).

At any rate, it seems clear that there is not necessarily a reference to a folklore character there.