l'esprit de l'escalier
l'esprit de l'escalier (uncountable)
- 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, page 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.
retort thought of too late