l'esprit de l'escalier

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English[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from French l'esprit de l'escalier.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /lɛˈspɹiː də lɛˈskaljeɪ/

Noun[edit]

l'esprit de l'escalier (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic) A conversational remark or rejoinder that only occurs to someone after the opportunity to make it has passed.
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, p. 317:
      ‘I knew not then,’ he confessed, ‘but now I think…’ It is not necessary to follow Goad along the path taken by his esprit d'escalier to see how sheer intellectual pleasure was the driving-force behind such efforts.

Translations[edit]

Synonyms[edit]


French[edit]

French Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia fr

Etymology[edit]

After Diderot in Paradoxe sur le Comédien (completed in 1778, published in 1830)[1]: "l’homme sensible, comme moi, tout entier à ce qu’on lui objecte, perd la tête et ne se retrouve qu’au bas de l’escalier"[2] (‘a sensitive man like me, overwhelmed by the argument levelled against him, loses his head – and doesn't get it back again till he's at the bottom of the stairs’).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /lɛ.spʁid.lɛ.sca.lje/

Noun[edit]

l'esprit de l'escalier m (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic) l'esprit de l'escalier, staircase wit

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Oxford University Press, 2004, (ISBN 0-19-860720-2)
  2. ^ Paradoxe sur le comédien, 1773, remanié en 1778; Diderot II, Classiques Larousse 1934, p. 56