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The Oxford English Dictionary says: Murphy, n. colloq. Now rare. = Morpheus n. Frequently in in the arms of Murphy: asleep. Morpheus was the Greek god of dreams; hence a metonym for sleep. The OED's citations include: 1750   T. Smollett Roderick Random (ed. 3) I. xiv. 110   When Murfy sends his puppies to the heys of slipping mortals. 1823   M. Wilmot Let....


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