When you're building castles in the air absentmindedly, daydreaming, or looking at nothing with an empty mind, or maybe being absorbed in thought. Then someone comes over and "wakes you up", stopping you from musing on things.

From what I can describe, he might pat you on the back, or say, "Hey, what's wrong?" And you'd be like, getting startled or diverting your sight/attention, or maybe smiling.


What do you call it, the thing he does and the thing your respond to what he does?

  • Porlocked? :)
    – starwed
    Commented Oct 14, 2017 at 3:34
  • Doesn't that mean "to interrupt or intrude at an awkward moment"? Is daydreaming "awkward"?
    – Safira
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 9:36
  • From wikipedia, Thus "person from Porlock", "man from Porlock", or just "Porlock" are literary allusions to unwanted intruders who disrupt inspired creativity. (Not an exact fit to your question, but related enough it seemed to be worth a comment.)
    – starwed
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 16:17
  • I call it very rude!!
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 16:25

5 Answers 5


What comes to my mind is

  • Bring one back to reality/real world

and what you do is

  • snapping out of it

If I look up "snap out of if" it mentions negative things like depression, but I am quite convinced you can snap out of a daydream


I think we could call it a stark awakening

  • it could be done gently too
    – mplungjan
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 9:31

I’m surprised no one has mentioned reverie:

A state of dreaming while awake; a loose or irregular train of thought; musing or meditation; daydream.

It’s relatively common in writing to use break with reverie, in various ways:

  • A sudden flash of light broke my reverie
  • He broke me out of my reverie with his question
  • The sound of the door broke into my reverie

You could use somnus interruptus, which has bit of a naughty ring to it.


Penny for your thoughts?

Is the usual friendly way to do it.

It's an expression meaning you'd like to know what someone is thinking about, maybe if they seem to be daydreaming or have their head in the clouds. Yahoo

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