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Sometimes when I ask a question on StackOverflow or SeasonedAdvice, I get an answer that is the perfect succinct answer to my question. Almost provably the best answer.

In Swedish there is a word derived from the quick lookup you would do when you were doing an arithmetic problem in school, and you checked the Answers section in the back of the book.

The Swedish word is "facit". (I'm pretty sure it is related to the typewriter brand name "Facit" that was huge in Scandinavia during the early 70's.)

Is there an equally distinctive term in English?

A complete example for any Suedoisuisses

  • -Han tejpade först sina trasiga skor med silvertejp. Sen lite härdande silikon. De var som nya. 212 kr från Clas Olson.

  • -Du, jag tror facit vore en resa till myrorna.

I'd be pleased to learn the heritage of the word "facit" too of course, the letters alone implies a latin root.

My explored options that I am unhappy about are

  • A perfect answer. This is just a compliment
  • The answer I was looking for. It just serves my purpose
  • The definitive answer.

I can't complement an answer on SO with "This is the definitive answer". It would be odd to me.

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    Latin facit, "it makes", "it results in". Cf. German Fazit, "conclusion". – RegDwigнt Apr 1 '14 at 19:42
  • very interesting, "it results in" and of course conclusion fits the word nicely. – Captain Giraffe Apr 1 '14 at 19:44
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    Oh, and the verb is facio, whence fact, factor, factory, fashion, and a million words in other languages. Also, remotely related, via Proto-Indo-European, to the English do, German tun, Russian делать etc. – RegDwigнt Apr 1 '14 at 19:47
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    Not a perfect match, but the phrase that comes to mind is "sweet spot", as in "that answer hit the the sweet spot". – JeffSahol Apr 1 '14 at 21:03
  • I keep thinking of panacea here, but that's more of a cure-all: something that's the ultimate answer to any question or problem; so it doesn't really fit. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 1 '14 at 22:10
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Surely this is a canonical answer.

Handily listed at that link:

Accepted as being accurate and authoritative
According to recognized rules or scientific laws
Of or relating to a general rule or standard formula

Stack Exchange aims to provide canonical answers to questions.

  • Many canonical answers in the geology, archeology, astronomy... fields are disproven on a yearly basis. Canonical means when we can prove or what is widely accepted now. – RyeɃreḁd Apr 1 '14 at 23:27
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ultimate answer might fit

As Douglas Adams said:

“The Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is...42!”

― The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


As a single word, masterstroke might fit but it is usually used regarding to actions and achievements. Though it suggests an exceptional solution or idea as well.

an outstanding piece of strategy, skill, talent, etc: your idea is a masterstroke.

  • Masterstroke agrees with my sentiments. In the end I think I'd prefer to try and work "facit" as RegDw.* suggested, in to the vocabulary. – Captain Giraffe Apr 1 '14 at 20:31
  • But how are you going to work it into the vocabulary and what do you mean by that? If you have a solution you can share with us. Though, there can be different senses in different languages and you cannot simply do that. RegDwight helped you with the etymology and root of the word. Maybe you can say "done!" :) – ermanen Apr 1 '14 at 21:33
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Perhaps a C minus answer is a better-known expression, but an A plus answer, also deriving from university gradings, is not going to be bettered.

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I would offer the phrase "be all end all answer". It's not a single word but it is commonly used.

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