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'Nothing clever to say?'

DEFINITION: n. A clever remark, especially a "comeback line" to an insult, which does not come to mind until it is too late to be delivered; often leads to the gnashing of teeth. v. To think of something clever after it's too late.

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Created by: astraea22




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Created by: pinwheel

Pronunciation: wit/i/skiz/um

Sentence: John's wittischism was particularly acute as he replayed the argument in his mind three hours after the event.

Etymology: witticism (a clever remark) + schism (a division or break - in this case the break between the desire to retort and the actual thinking of the retort.


a clever cut... - ajcor, 2007-04-03: 18:00:00


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Created by: suzanne




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Created by: artr

Pronunciation: nəmbak

Sentence: She cut him to the quick with her biting remark. All he had was a numback. Like the line from the Three Stooges, ”I’m trying to think but nothing happens”, He’s trying to speak but nothing happens.

Etymology: numb (deprive of feeling or responsiveness) + comeback (a quick reply to a critical remark)

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Created by: Dolraith

Pronunciation: Late-a-line

Sentence: The next day I had a latealine to her remark...


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Created by: galwaywegian

Pronunciation: ver bott ommm ist

Sentence: He verbotomissed madly as she strutted into the dissedance

Etymology: vertobotomy, missed


Verbotombest! - Nosila, 2009-10-21: 01:23:00


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Created by: purpleartichokes

Pronunciation: ree-tord

Sentence: My clever retord about his ass being listed as a major source of global warming did not come to me until long after it could be effectively delivered.

Etymology: retort, retard


I reckon this one is better than "retortoise" because the tortoise kicked the hair's major source of a problem the American government denies exists. - Bulletchewer, 2007-04-03: 17:35:00

*hare Duh! - Bulletchewer, 2007-04-03: 17:35:00


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Created by: karenanne

Pronunciation: re TOR tus

Sentence: "Oh yeah? I'm a b----? Well, uh, uh, I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter!" she retortoised, as he disappeared from view.

Etymology: retort + tortoise

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Created by: Sed8ed

Pronunciation: gig-el-lag

Sentence: Gigglelag was a familiar state of affairs for Mark, who always found himself tongue-tied (?) until well after the argument was over.

Etymology: giggle + lag = gigglelag

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Created by: mrskellyscl

Pronunciation: re-par-tar-dy

Sentence: Mike could only deliver brilliant repartardy to his mirror long after his guests had gone. He longed to be quick and witty; however, he was tongue-tied while he was being verbally filleted by his friends' good natured bantering. As the Japanese proverb says: "He had many knives -- none of them sharp."

Etymology: repartee: swift, witty reply; a conversation marked with the exchange of witty retorts + tardy: arrive or occur after the expected time


:) - galwaywegian, 2009-10-20: 12:47:00

Cutting and pointed! - Nosila, 2009-10-21: 01:25:00


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Verbotomy Verbotomy - 2007-04-03: 00:01:00
Today's definition was suggested by mplsbohemian.
Thank you mplsbohemian! ~ James

mplsbohemian - 2007-04-03: 11:13:00
Thanks for using the definition! I specifically chose it because the French expression for this is notoriously difficult to succinctly translate into English. Perhaps you guys can help! Peace Clint

Verbotomy Verbotomy - 2007-04-03: 11:45:00
Ah oui, "l'ésprit de l'escalier"... Merci pour la suggestion, mplsbohemian ~ James

Verbotomy Verbotomy - 2009-10-20: 03:48:00
Today's definition was suggested by mplsbohemian. Thank you mplsbohemian. ~ James