The meaning of L'Arlésienne is clear and explained in Wikipedia/French:- http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlesienne It is someone/something one speaks about or thinks about all the time, yet one never actually sees/meets the person/object in question. An ultimate example could be God in the Bible... I was wondering what expressions would be used in English for that. I can think of certain phrases, but would like to get contributors' input. Thanks.