*noun*: An ordinary, timid person who indulges in daydreams involving great
adventures and triumphs.
After the title character in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a short story
(1939) by James Thurber, later made into a movie (1947) of the same name.
James Thurber’s story appeared in the March 18, 1939 issue of the New
Yorker. In the story, Walter Mitty is a meek husband, rather uxorious, who
fantasizes of great exploits to escape the humdrum of daily life. One
minute he is dreaming of being a heroic pilot (“Throw on the power lights!
Rev her up to 8500!”), next minute he becomes a daring naval commander. In
his next thought he transforms into a master surgeon, and even a cool
“It was not a Mitty dream. It was no fantasy at all.”
Richard Bach; A Gift of Wings; Dell; 1974.