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oh no +‎ second, in imitation of terms like nanosecond and attosecond.


  • IPA(key): /ˈoʊnoʊˌsɛkənd/
    • (file)


ohnosecond (plural ohnoseconds)

  1. (humorous) The fraction of time between making a mistake and realizing it.
    • 1994, Elizabeth Powell Crowe, The Electronic Traveller: Exploring Alternative Online Systems, Windcrest/McGraw-Hill (1994), →ISBN:
      In the ohnosecond (one minuscule fraction of a nanosecond, the time it takes to realize you just made a BIG mistake) that followed, I realized my log of the conversation was lost.
    • 1997, Lisa Greim, "Exabyte Takes On The Oh-Ohs", Rocky Mountain News, 1 June 1997:
      Exabyte Corp. of Boulder entered the consumer and small-office market last year with a product aimed at reducing the number of ohnoseconds experienced annually by computer users.
    • 2002, Sandra Choron & Harry Choron, The All-New Book of Lists for Kids, Houghton Mifflin (2002), →ISBN, page 257:
      Before you hit the "send" button — and experience that twinge of regret an ohnosecond later (see "The Top 18 Techno-Jargon Terms," page 259), read over what you've written.
    • 2006, Frank Stewart, "Bridge", Bangor Daily News, 14 April 2006:
      Today's declarer took the ace of diamonds and saw that a high diamond in dummy would provide a pitch for his spade loser. So South led a trump to the king next — and regretted it in an ohnosecond.
    • 2008, Ken Cox, ASP.NET 3.5 For Dummies, Wiley Publishing, Inc. (2008), →ISBN, unnumbered page:
      For example, you ridicule your boss in an e-mail to colleagues and, an ohnosecond after clicking Send, you realize the boss was one of those in the address list.
    • 2008, Greg Scott, Notes from Beyond the Fringe, iUniverse (2009), →ISBN, pages 267-268:
      As I sat, the moment seemed to stretch into five minutes of slo-mo "ohnoseconds." As projective A [the (now highly agitated) cat] slid off the table and hit the carpet running, leaving a milk and gumbo vapor trail, projectiles B & C (garlic bread and milk) slid off the table in that order, landing one upon the other, on the top of the ottoman, whereupon they collectively slid slowly off onto the carpet.