I've a friend who forgets about the topic on which we're having conversation at first place and deviates and talks about something else & then after sometime; in between he realizes that he is talking/discussing about different thing (which may or may not linked directly/indirectly with the original topic) and then we laughed about it.

But I'm just wondering if there's any specific word in English litrature about this thing.

4 Answers 4


wandering TFD

to wander

  1. To turn the attention from one subject to another with little clarity or coherence of thought.

As in:

I had a point to make, but my mind started wandering.


You should say he has a short attention span

Via Macmillan Dictionary

Attention span

  1. the length of time that you can pay attention to one thing without becoming bored or thinking about something else

or that he is easily sidetracked

From Collins Dictionary:


  1. to distract or be distracted from a main subject or topic

How about "scatterbrained"?


a person who forgets things easily or does not think seriously about things


The noun 'desultor' is rare and retains only its original meaning in English: a rider trained to leap from one horse to another (as in the circensian games) (M-W; qv).

M-W has for the adjective, which OP's '[a] ... word ... about this thing' licenses,


A desultory conversation leaps from one topic to another and doesn't have a distinct point or direction.

A desultory student skips from one subject to another without applying serious effort to any one.

A desultory comment is a digressive one that jumps away from the topic at hand.

And a desultory performance is one resulting from an implied lack of steady, focused effort.

So both the friend and the conversation / conversational style may be termed 'desultory'.

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