I'm trying to determine if a short translation exists for the Greek word "ξεχάστηκα", which literally means "I got forgotten" but is generally used to express that the speaker forgot to do something because their attention was given to something else.

An example usage would be the following (using "got forgotten" for now):

"I got forgotten and missed the ship."

(Implying that the speaker was absorbed in something else -which they don't mention- and forgot to look at the time until it was too late.)

Possible candidates would be simply "forgot" and "got carried away" but both don't match the usage entirely.

"Forgot" requires that you say what you forgot to do, implicitly or explicitly:

"I forgot to look at the time, and missed the ship."

"Got carried away" seems to me to imply that you did too much of something rather than forgetting to do something else (although I could be wrong) and also requires you to say what you were doing, even vaguely:

"I got carried away doing something, and missed the ship."

It's entirely possible that no word or phrase with this exact meaning exists in English and that translating a phrase where the original was used would require changing the context, but I thought it would be worth it to ask.

8 Answers 8


You can say:

I was distracted and missed the ship

I got distracted and missed the ship

From Oxford Learners Dictinaries:

Distracted (adjective). Unable to pay attention to someone or something because you are worried or thinking about something else.

Distract (verb). To take someone's attention away from what they are trying to do.

  • I think this one best fits the meaning I have in my mind, thanks!
    – George T
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 8:11
  • I do agree with you. Surprise, surprise. You're welcome.
    – Jacinto
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 10:28

Consider sidetrack or get sidetracked:

sidetrack: cause (someone) to be distracted from an immediate or important issue

(Oxford American Dictionary)

If you are sidetracked by something, it makes you forget what you intended to do or say, and start instead doing or talking about a different thing.

(Collins Learner's Dictionary)

You could say:

"I got sidetracked and missed the ship."

  • 1
    I can think of situations where you might be sidetracked and yet all the time be thinking, "I must get to my ship," but you can't because you are busy doing something else, so I don't feel this necessarily has the implication of forgetfulness with it (even though Collins uses that word). This has more to do with priorities.
    – Octopus
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 19:57
  • @Octopus I agree forgetfulness is not an obligatory implication, merely a possible one.
    – A.P.
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 21:48
  • I think "distracted" fits the meaning I was thinking of best, but "sidetracked" is very near.
    – George T
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 8:12

If the attention was casually given to one other item, then "preoccupied" can be used.

I was preoccupied with happy thoughts of my school, and missed the ship.

If the attention was fully given to one other item, then "obsessed" can be used.

I was obsessed with solving a challenging puzzle, and missed the ship.

Few other choices :

"Distracted" ( Previously given by @Jacinto )

Related Phrases :

"out of sight , out of mind"
"lost in thought"


Consider be lost in thought for ξεχάστηκα

lost in thought

: not aware of what is happening around you because you are thinking about something else : I didn't answer right away because I was lost in thought. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms.

I was lost in thought and missed the ship.


Although it has gotten away from its “forgetfulness” origins and now is used more to express “unawareness” (see below), “oblivious” would still work in your example:

"I became/was oblivious to the passage of time and missed the ship."

Full Definition of OBLIVIOUS [adjective]
1: lacking remembrance, memory, or mindful attention
2: lacking active conscious knowledge or awareness —usually used with of or to

(from Merriam-Webster)


oblivious (adj.) [from Online Etymology Dictionary]:
mid-15c., from Latin obliviosus "forgetful, that easily forgets; producing forgetfulness," from oblivion (see oblivion).
Meaning "unaware, unconscious (of something)" is from 1862, formerly regarded as erroneous, this is now the general meaning and the word has lost its original sense of "no longer aware or mindful."
Properly should be used with to, not of.


Perhaps a bit more abstract but 'slipped away' is an option. As in:

My thoughts slipped away and I missed the ship.


One might say that the overlooked issue got "lost in the shuffle", which is defined by OxfordDictionaries.com as "overlooked or missed in a confused or crowded situation."


Well, I flipped through all the above so I don't know if anyone mentioned this. I have heard people say: "It skipped my mind" which would mean that something was forgotten. The original question mentioned "I got forgotten" which means that someone forgot you, not that you forgot anything.

  • 2
    The phrase is actually "slipped my mind".
    – user1635
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 20:41
  • Thanks Rahul: I knew something happened to my mind, it slipped not skipped. Good catch. Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 1:52

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