2. Espirit d’escalier.
Thinking of a witty comeback when it’s too late.
Translated literally this means “the wit of the staircase”, presumably because in France when people are insulted they storm out the building rather than stand there and pretend they’re fine. Either way, this describes the moment when the perfect retort to an insult pops into your head way after it’s ceased to be of any use.
A face that wants to be punched.
Or ‘a face that wants to be slapped’. Either way, we’ve all encountered a few in our time.
5. Tatemae and Honne.
What you pretend to think, and what you actually think.
In Japan it is an openly acknowledged fact of life that there is a difference between what you must claim to think and feel in order to fit in with society, and what you privately think and feel. The closest concept we have to this is the ‘little white lie’, except that we tend to think of those as saving the feelings of others, rather than saving face for ourselves.
The improvisation of a haphazard but effective solution or plan at the last minute.
Few things make you look or feel cooler than coming up with an ingenius way to solve a problem in the nick of time. Masters of lateral thought - like The Doctor - can put such powers to tremendous use. For the rest of us, it usually means getting the cork out of a bottle of wine without using a screw.
Moving very hot food around in your mouth.
In other words, that series of hops, blows and ‘ARRRRRR’ sounds you make when you’ve even something before it has cooled down properly.
Discover more wonderful foreign words in this video.