I watched an online video. Unexpectedly, I've same experience that my friend said exactly with this last bolded sentence in the video's conversation.

Stranger: Which train do I have to take to get back to Hakone?
Woman 1: Take the X line!
Woman 2: No, that's wrong! Take the Y line!
Woman 1: No, the X line!
Stranger: ... Which one?
Woman 2: I'm right!
Woman 1 (to Stranger): This one (Woman 2) has no sense of direction!
Woman 2: No, that's not right ...
Stranger: I checked on my mobile phone and it looks like the fastest is to take the Z line.
Woman 1 (to Stranger): I TOLD you so! I said Z line all along! Sorry this child is a little silly ...

Is there an adjective, a phrase, or a word for such kind of the behavior (the bolded sentence)?

  • I don't know what you call it, but it is infuriating. I once worked with someone who, when it had been demonstrated that he was wrong, and that some other argument was the right one, he would try and make it appear that that was what he had been saying all along. Most irritating behaviour!
    – WS2
    Jul 15, 2015 at 8:52

4 Answers 4


In psychology, it is called hindsight bias. (also known as knew-it-all-along effect or creeping determinism).

The hindsight bias is defined as a tendency to change a recollection from an original thought to something different because of newly provided information. wikipedia

  • This answer is very perfect and suitable to describe the behavior. For me, the other answers are so close but any word related to "revision" is still giving wide meaning. Thank you so much!
    – làntèrn
    Jul 15, 2015 at 19:38

This is perhaps not as specific as you'd like, but what the woman essentially did was


1.1 Reverse one’s previous position or opinion



Reverse one’s previous action or opinion

You might phrase it like: "The woman blatantly back-pedalled."

In an open and unashamed manner:


PS - Back-pedalling is not a perfect fit here; as the woman is hoping no one notices and gives her credit for Z-line. This isn't implied every time someone back-pedals

  • @LittleEva: Whoa! Severely cool.
    – Tushar Raj
    Jul 16, 2015 at 16:19

I'm not sure there is any one particular concept at play here. I see elements of misdirection, dissemblance, revisionism and doublespeak.


Perhaps your friend is seeking to "rewrite history".

If you rewrite history, you change your version of past events so as to make yourself look better than you would if the truth was told.

  • 1
    For whatever it's worth, I've seen this attempt to rewrite history called "revisionism", which would make Woman 1 from the dialogue a "revisionist". Jul 15, 2015 at 14:10

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