I once came upon a word that means "afterward-smart", e.g., claiming to know something would happen only after it happened. For example, somebody said, "I knew the stock market would collapse, that's so obvious", but only say so after the stock market has collapsed, never before.

I know there is such word, but I can't find it any more. What is it?


2 Answers 2


A good option is hindsight though it may not directly relate to the person.

hindsight (n) - perception of the nature of an event after it has happened.

The example clarifies it further.

'It's easy for us to say that the war was wrong, but we have the advantage of hindsight.'

  • Reminds me of second guess.
    – Helix Quar
    Apr 18, 2014 at 10:49
  • yes, thanks. the hindsight is in fact the word that I was looking for (not hinting that the others are not more appropriate).
    – xpt
    Apr 18, 2014 at 12:55

The act of making a "prediction" about the past "after the fact" is called retrodiction. Closely related (but not identical) terms are: postdiction, hindcast, vaticinium ex eventu, and post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

Also, there is a common saying:

It's easy to be wise after the event. (British, American & Australian) also It's easy to be smart after the fact. (American)

  • Thanks. In Chinese, there is a corresponding saying: "事后诸葛亮", basically mean exactly as afterward smart.
    – xpt
    Apr 18, 2014 at 12:58

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