stair


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staircase wit

A perfect witty remark, retort, or rejoinder that occurs to one after the fact or too late to be used. 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, this staircase wit, it always comes to me when I can do nothing about it!
See also: wit

below stairs

in the basement of a house, in particular as the part occupied by servants. British dated
See also: below, stair
References in classic literature ?
With those words he took her up in his arms; and, with the veiled face lying on his bosom, and addressed towards his own, carried her, motionless and unconscious, down the stairs.
Treading hastily behind him, and stretching forth his gauntleted hand as if to grasp the old man's shoulder, came a tall, soldier-like figure, equipped with a plumed cap of steel, a bright breastplate, and a long sword, which rattled against the stairs.
Down the turret stair she ran quickly, letting the wire run from the wheel which she carried carefully, and, passing out of the hall door, hurried down the avenue with all her speed.
A sharp turning, and then a second one, brought them to the head of a short stair, from which they looked straight down upon the scene of the uproar.
I swore I would settle that "perhaps," if I should break my neck for it; got me down upon my hands and knees; and as slowly as a snail, feeling before me every inch, and testing the solidity of every stone, I continued to ascend the stair.
Soon afterwards, came a slamming and banging of doors; and then came running down stairs, a gentleman with whiskers, and out of breath, who seemed to be red-hot.
In this, however, he was mistaken; for, after the knock had been repeated with increased impatience, the door was opened, and somebody with a very heavy tread went up the stairs and into the room above.
Legree stopped at the foot of the stairs, and heard a voice singing.
Before the last notes of the dog's remonstrance had died away, the oaken stairs in the higher regions of the house creaked under slowly-descending footsteps.
The servant remounted the stairs to give the message to the doctor, and the moment she was out of sight the tailor and his wife carried the body swiftly after her, propped it up at the top of the staircase, and ran home as fast as their legs could carry them.
I cried on the stairs, but in a low voice, not boldly.
We will be down as soon as we can," said Jane; "but I dare say Kitty is forwarder than either of us, for she went up stairs half an hour ago.
I would have on the side of the banquet, in front, one only goodly room above stairs, of some forty foot high; and under it a room for a dressing, or preparing place, at times of triumphs.
She heard Tess re-ascend the stairs to the first floor, and the departure of Clare, and the closing of the front door behind him.
he asked, and not waiting for a reply- which he would not have received, for the princess was unable to speak- he turned back, rapidly mounted the stairs again with the doctor who had entered the hall after him (they had met at the last post station), and again embraced his sister.