l'esprit de l'escalier

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l'esprit de l'escalier

A French phrase meaning "the wit of the staircase"; a perfect witty remark, retort, or rejoinder that occurs to one after the fact or too late to be used. (Also written as "l'esprit d'escalier.") I was on the bus home long after being tongue-lashed by my boss when I thought of the perfect things to say that would take him down a few pegs. Ah, l'esprit de l'escalier!
See also: DE
References in periodicals archive ?
The next work, two years later, was by French artist Francois Morellet, in which he redesigned the windows set into the elaborate and elegant stonework of the mid-19th century Lefuel Staircase, in a work entitled L'esprit d'escalier.
Also known as jarns, nittles, and quimp Rasceta The creases on the inside of your wrist L'esprit d'escalier Moment an excellent retort comes to mind but too late for the argument.
So, for once, l'esprit d'escalier (literally, the spirit of the staircase), stayed shtum.