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I am looking for a expression, phrase or word that describes a person or behavior that pretends a mistake made was intentionally done so as to save face. There is a phrase in my language saying "To pretend that the fall was a technique/stunt". I am looking for an equivalent for this in English.

  • What's the original phrase? – Elian Apr 13 '16 at 13:53
  • I would say the behavior was a ruse to save face. I can't think of anything that would let you get rid of the term saving face. – Phil Sweet Apr 13 '16 at 14:43
  • @Elian, the original phrase for which I am looking for a translation is something like "To pretend that the fall was a technique/stunt". Ie, a person that fall down try to pretend that it was an act that was intentionally done and is a trick. – blokeish Apr 15 '16 at 0:41
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Most would simply say that they meant to do that.

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    In software developpement, we lie and say it's a feature. – MorganFR Apr 13 '16 at 8:30
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    @MorganFR It's more like, "It's not a bug, it's a feature." – Nagarajan Shanmuganathan Apr 13 '16 at 9:29
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Play innocent is close to what you are looking for.

  • to pretend to be innocent and not concerned.

    • I know you broke the lamp! John is playing innocent, and he knows more than he is telling us.

(McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs.)

  • Play innocent means to pretend you didn't have anything to do with it, while what the OP wants is a phrase meaning "to pretend you did it on purpose." – Peter Shor Apr 13 '16 at 11:06
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Better to be lucky than good can be used in a self-depreciating way by a victor to claim their victory was due to fate rather than pointing out the skillful exploit of an opponent's error.

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