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Is there a word to describe a scenario where two people having a conversation utter the same word/phrase together, simultaneously, and unconsciously? Something else than just a coincidence.

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Excellent question, haha! –  Jimi Oke Mar 20 '11 at 19:43
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The answer depends on what you're trying to express. "just a coincidence" is a phrase, not a word, and "something else than" suggests a belief that there's some non-coincidental cause, such as telepathy. –  Jim Balter Mar 20 '11 at 21:05
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In German we have a saying that translates to "Two idiots, one thought" :-). Usually only used when you are one of the two yourself. –  user3448 Mar 23 '11 at 1:10
    
Because of the close relevance of 'hivemind' and 'synchronicity', it would be best if you clarified the description of the situation. The experiential value of the synchronous speech can changed the appropriate word. –  New Alexandria Oct 21 '12 at 12:33
    
@user3448 dict.cc translates this saying to "Great minds think alike.". My feeling is that the English expression is quite dull in comparison to the German expression. –  Em1 Dec 6 '12 at 8:26

9 Answers 9

A jinx.

A common slang term used when two people say the same thing at the same time, said as a game among children.

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maybe not unconsciously. –  n0nChun Mar 20 '11 at 19:39
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Many people do this (and I've done it), without the sense of it being a "jinx" in the more usual sense. This "jinx" being different from the superstitious "jinx". –  jbelacqua Mar 20 '11 at 19:46
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(and +1 when I get my vote quota refreshed.... ) –  jbelacqua Mar 20 '11 at 19:47
    
I understand the meaning of jinx in the usual and the unusual sense. Just that this answer does not fit into my expectations. –  n0nChun Mar 20 '11 at 19:49
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@Colin Fine: Well, it's certainly current usage in the chat... –  Marthaª Mar 23 '11 at 0:40

A phrase often used for saying or thinking the same thing as someone else is "great minds think alike", which is like the German phrase @user3448 pointed out in a comment.

Great minds think alike has a history back to at least the 17th century:

Dabridgcourt Belchier wrote this in Hans Beer-Pot, 1618:
Though he made that verse, Those words were made before. Good wits doe jumpe.
That citation uses 'jump' with a meaning long since abandoned in everyday speech, that is 'agree with; completely coincide'.

In my experience as an American English speaker, it's often acceptable in places, such as with professional colleagues, where calling "Jinx!" might come across as childish or inappropriate.

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A certain stripe of person will refer to this as a hivemind moment. Others would call it a synchronicity, though I'm a little dubious that the event calls for that word's vaguely mystical implications, and might prefer synchronism.

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I'm not necessarily looking for a scientific term. –  n0nChun Mar 20 '11 at 19:40
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@n0nChun: I would've have called any of those scientific. –  chaos Mar 20 '11 at 20:21
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"would've have called" -- I presume you mean "would not have called". Certainly those are not scientific terms. –  Jim Balter Mar 20 '11 at 21:08
    
@Jim Balter: Yes, I meant wouldn't have called. –  chaos Mar 21 '11 at 23:37
    
+1 for synchronicity. Blech, but it's what I thought of as well. –  jbelacqua Mar 22 '11 at 22:51

You could say the two people said [the same word] in stereo. Or one of the speakers could just say Stereo! as noted here from Urban Dictionary:

When two people say the same word or phrase simultaneously during a conversation (usually by coincidence), the word "stereo" would then be uttered immediately by one or both parties to acknowledge this phenomenon.

Of course, if both parties say stereo in stereo, then one would have to say Jinx!

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What one says is "snap" — based on the card game of the same name. (British/Australian English — cf. "jinx" in US English.)

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Jinx. (It's a race to see which of the two people says "jinx" first after they've unintentionally but simultaneously said exactly the same thing. The victor may add something like "you owe me a Coke.")

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People simultaneously utter exactly the same word, phrase or exclamation especially when they are thinking [of] the same thing in exactly the same way. The best word I can think of at the moment to describe this situation is telepathy/telepathic. I use this word all the time to describe situations such as this, using sentences like:

  • Wow, that was telepathic!!
  • Ooh, some telepathy at work!
  • We got some telepathy going.

Another adjective that could be used to describe this context is psychic:

  • Wow, you guys said exactly the same thing at the same time! That was soooo psychic!
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Telepathy is a broad term, I wonder if there is a term whose scope is narrower than telepathy. Still, it's better than calling it J!nx –  n0nChun Mar 21 '11 at 3:47
    
'Telepathy' might pseudoscientifically describe how it happened but it's not a word for the event itself. –  Lisa Aug 24 '11 at 0:01

You could try "concurrence". Or more awkwardly, a "convergence of events".

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You could say that they spoke in unison:

simultaneous performance or utterance of action or speech:
‘Yes, sir,’ said the girls in unison

Chorus might be a stretch. But it is related:

a simultaneous utterance of something by many people:
a growing chorus of complaint
‘Good morning,’ we replied in chorus

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protected by RegDwigнt Dec 6 '12 at 9:39

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