One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Used to refer to the fact that a witty remark or retort often comes to mind after the opportunity to make it has passed.
- ‘I am frequently afflicted with esprit de l'escalier.’
- ‘Now if I'd managed to say all that off the cuff then I would be a genius comedian, but as it was I had to make do with experiencing esprit de l'escalier on the way home.’
French, literally ‘wit of the staircase’ (i.e. a witty remark coming to mind on the stairs leading away from a gathering).
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