English Idioms

Trou de mémoire

When i speak,it happens frequently that i don't find a word or some details...How can we translate: j'ai un trou de mémoire?


  • When i speak,it happens frequently that i don't find a word or some details...How can we translate: j'ai un trou de mémoire?
  • A lapse of memory/ a memory lapse
    is the translation given by Le Larousse multilingue.

    You heard American (capital A) people saying "senior moment". Senior moment is a neologism for a momentary lapse in memory, particularly one experienced by a senior citizen. That neologism was born give or take ten years ago.

    May I forward hereafter a quotation of Wordspy where you can find more about the expression. <wordspy.com/words/seniormoment.asp>

    "As baby boomers age, memory loss looms large in America. This being the land of marketing opportunity, that means we'll be seeing more and more things designed to help. We've already produced a term for the problem: "Senior moment" was named Word of the Year (even though it's two words) by Webster's New World College Dictionary a couple of years back (who can remember when, exactly?)."
    —Alison apRoberts, "Keeping boomers sharp," Sacramento Bee, December 24, 2002

    If you say, you young Mifrance, "I have some senior moments myself", that could be with a touch of irony. If not, you'd rather say "I have some memory lapse" or "memory loss". At least I think so.

    If one day, by chance, I ran into you down this forum, no loss of memory, no lapse of memory, no gap in my memory, no blank in my mind, no senior moment would preclude me from remembering your clever remark about human capability of keeping data throughout years. Notwithstanding possible senior moments it outdoes the burned CD's which can't exceed two to ten years.

    With my best souvenir,
    Note: my souvenir won't turn blank for I'll do my best to keep sharp.
  • Hello Mifrance.
    It's I, the Guardian Angel.

    My mind went blank. (Robert&Collins)
    I have a knowledge-gap. (WordReference.com)
    I have a gap in my memory. (Robert&Collins)
    You might have a loss of memory as well, or a memory-loss.

    All that is what I acquired from books, Mifrance. So take it with all proper reserve. For my part I would favor the last way:
    I have a loss of memory.
    But anyway the best would be that you have a good memory. If by chance it happened you were at a loss for words, just say: ... , say, how shall I put it?, ...

    May I point out a failure in your keyboard, Mifrance. Your uppercase (capital letter) I doesn't work anymore. Every time you type I, a small i shows up. That makes you miserably shrink! If I were you, I'd right away call Bob Carter, the techie of the Delavigne Corporation so that he drops by to fix your I key.

  • See above...

    ...because un trou de memoire is idiomatic too.
  • I would definitely say 'my mind went blank'

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