I was confused, when one of my friends was writing his name on a lead from vapor of mouth: I saw his name for a few seconds and after that it automatically disappeared.

So what can I call this incident? Is there any word available for this incident?

  • 1
    I'm puzzled by the word "incident".
    – o0'.
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 15:38
  • 1
    @Lohoris I guess v.k's English is not too good and he just wanted to say phenomenon or something like that. Let's wait for confirmation, shall we?
    – Zachiel
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 17:52
  • @Lohoris "experience" might work better.
    – Jay Brunet
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 9:05

7 Answers 7


I guess you are referring to a glimpse

  • a very brief passing look, sight, or view.

Maybe fleeting is the word your looking for?

Fleet (pronunciation: flēt)

verb: literary gerund or present participle: fleeting

move or pass quickly. "a variety of expressions fleeted across his face"

pass (time) rapidly. fade away; be transitory.


Evanescent: tending to vanish like vapor -evanescently

  • This hint of a metaphor are very powerful, even for this literal application. You might strengthen your snswer with some synonyms. Commented May 19, 2014 at 14:07
  • 1
    I don't think anything works as well here. 'Ephemeral' isn't as good. No, I'd leave the answer rather than weaken it with not-really-synonyms. Commented May 19, 2014 at 14:34

Ephemeral - meaning something that lasts for a very short time.


His name flashed before my eyes then was gone.

a thing that occurs suddenly and within a brief period of time, in particular.


I don't have enough 'reputation' to add this as a comment, so an answer it is...

Although not a single word, a combination of two of the other answers: a 'fleeting glimpse' is perhaps what you're looking for. Think 'Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb'!


Snap is used in this sense. Usually as "like a snap". It is related to how quick finger snapping is.

(n) a quick, sudden action or movement, as the breaking of a twig.

As a phrase, there is just like that:

Suddenly and, sometimes, unexpectedly.

For example, The alarm went off, just like that , or And then they walked out, just like that .

As an adjective there is momentary (and its synonyms)

lasting for a markedly brief time; "a fleeting glance"; "fugitive hours"; "rapid momentaneous association of things that meet and pass"; "a momentary glimpse"

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