One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person given to unrealistic dreams, expectations, or plans, especially of wealth or success.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in The Observer. From Alnaschar (French Alnaschar, 1705 in Galland's translation of the Arabian Nights), the name of a beggar in the Arabian Nights who destroys his means of livelihood because he indulges in visions of riches and grandeur from Arabic al-naššār (also in a large number of variants, several of which have no medial -n-), probably from al the + naššār sawyer from našara to saw (something) apart, although the semantic motivation of the name is unclear.
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