For example, if you have 3 tasks to do every period of time, but you manage to do only 2 in that time period. You're falling behind, but if you want to measure how far behind you are, what word could you use ? Is there a single word for that ?

If you wrote on a spreadsheet how many tasks you're behind, how would you name the file ?

"Lateness" and "delay" don't seem mean that, and I only find verbs in dictionaries.

  • Perhaps shortfall? – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 13 '17 at 15:03
  • 2
    How about backlog? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 13 '17 at 15:33
  • @TRomano Thank you this is exactly the word I'm looking for ! "unprocessed items", "items in a queue", that's it :) – Teleporting Goat Jan 13 '17 at 15:36
  • An accumulation of work items that have not been completed. I am very familiar with the situation. The word is always on the tip of my tongue. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 13 '17 at 15:37
  • @TRomano Wonderful... you should make your comment into an answer. Perhaps the question could be edited and I could if it not longer makes sense, delete my answer. – WRX Jan 13 '17 at 15:42

A backlog is an accumulation of uncompleted tasks.


(from google definition) fall behind phrasal verb of fall 1. fail to keep up with one's competitors. fail to meet a commitment to make a regular payment. "borrowers falling behind with their mortgage payments" synonyms: lag, lag behind, trail, trail behind, be left behind, drop back, bring up the rear; straggle, dally, dawdle, hang back "the other walkers fell behind" get into debt, get into arrears, default, be in the red "they fell behind on their payments"

Failed, To do list, Unfinished, LINK: incomplete

'How far' to me means a measurement. I can not think of, nor can I find a single word that expresses the measurement in one word.

  • A measurement as in "how much" or "how far" ? Maybe I used the wrong word, "far" doesn't seem perfect, but if you had the "how [word]" for "falling behind" I wouldn't mind editing my title :) – Teleporting Goat Jan 13 '17 at 15:14
  • @TeleportingGoat How far to me means there would be a specific answer. How far behind are you?" Answer, "I need another hour." Or, "I'm a kilometre away." Or, "I have three more columns to finish." So you need to explain what you mean before you will get the answer. Is the work incomplete? – WRX Jan 13 '17 at 15:18
  • Yep, that's exactly what I mean ! If you can't say it in one word, how would you say it ? – Teleporting Goat Jan 13 '17 at 15:21
  • 1
    @TeleportingGoat How about Incomplete? Or Partial, Unfinished? To be positive, try: In Progress, Under way, or Progressing. – WRX Jan 13 '17 at 15:26
  • 1
    @TeleportingGoat Would a fraction work, instead of a word? 2/3 complete. Or, 6/8 complete. – WRX Jan 13 '17 at 15:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.