The phrase “asleep and not having bad dreams” is one I use in my Debut Novella Spring Fling. I’ve heard this all my life, so I thought it was a fairly common expression. I’ve had one or two people ask me about it, so I thought I better explain.
In the context of Spring Fling, Pace (the hero) is a bad boy type. If he’s awake, he’s being naughty, causing or getting into trouble. The heroine, Kellyn, sees him sleeping and thinks he looks angelic, but only as long as he wasn’t having bad dreams. Or rather, being bad in his dreams.
In my family, the phrase is often used to describe some of the rambunctious, little boy cousins. They are sweet and charming, but if you say that to their parents, the response is, “Yeah, when they’re asleep and not having bad dreams.”
So, there you have it–a new phrase to show off your understanding of the Southern vernacular. Sweet dreams, y’all.