These past few days I have had this kind of "luck": every time I'm not ready for something, it has ended up being cancelled. For instance, a surprise quiz came up for which I was not at all prepared, but by some "luck" there was a sudden suspension of class.

Just out of curiosity, I want to know if there's a single word to describe this kind of luck in which time is in your favor.

  • Hi Carmina, welcome to ELU. I'm afraid your question is too badly worded for me to understand what exactly you're asking. If you can edit it (and improve the spelling!) it might get answered, but as it stands I think it will soon be closed as "Not Constructive". – FumbleFingers Jul 22 '12 at 22:22
  • @FumbleFingers I gave it the old college try on OP's behalf. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Jul 22 '12 at 23:09
  • 1
    And you just beat me to it! I don't see that time is relevant; it seems to me it's just good luck. – Andrew Leach Jul 22 '12 at 23:11
  • @AndrewLeach feel free to improve it further. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Jul 22 '12 at 23:41

You might consider serendipity. NOAD says:

serendipity (n.): the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way

Alternatively, you could also say these are fortuitous events. Macmillan defines fortuitous as:

fortuitous (adj.): happening by chance, especially in a way that is lucky or convenient

These words aren't restricted to incidents when "time is in your favor," as was mentioned in your original question, but having especially good timing through sheer blind luck could be one way to experience serendipity.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    +1 Synchronicity/Synchroneity is a related term that is rooted in time and coincidence. It, however, does not carry any implicit positive connotations. – coleopterist Jul 23 '12 at 0:58
  • @coleopterist: So, are you suggesting serendipitous synchronicity? It's a mouthful, but I like it! ;^) – J.R. Jul 23 '12 at 1:01
  • I like it too :) That said, I suspect that Deepak Chopra, boob that he is, probably uses it too :| – coleopterist Jul 23 '12 at 17:58

Deus ex machina. Try this. It means, an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, (especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel).

| improve this answer | |
  • It's latin, 3 words, meaning god or divine power from a machine or device. It really doesn't describe the situation unless you're implying that real life miracles are cancelling his classes. – Chris S Jan 29 '14 at 3:05
  • @Chris - It may be Latin, but it's found in plenty of English dictionaries. So is mea culpa. So is carpe diem. I agree that it's a bit strong for a cancelled class, but, given the very few alternatives provided here, it's not a terrible suggestion (especially seeing how the parenthetical statement duly notes how the expression is generally used when referring to a contrived plot device). – J.R. Jan 29 '14 at 3:19
  • @J.R. My apologies if my previous comment implied that it couldn't be used in an English context, I just wanted to more accurately explain it's meaning and give some context other than a colloquial interpretation. I'm not sure lack of alternatives is a great reason for contributing just anything, though the phrase certainly could apply to circumstances similar to what the OP posed. – Chris S Jan 29 '14 at 3:24
  • @Chris - I agree that lack of alternatives is not a good justification for posting "just anything," but I think it's a valid reason to post something perhaps not entirely precise, but still fairly close. I tend to be more accepting of slightly-off answers when there aren't a host of good ones. And maybe I misunderstood what you meant by "It's latin, 3 words," but I wondered if you felt like that disqualified deus ex machina on the grounds that it's not one English word, but three Latin words. I'd disagree; in my mind, one entry in an English dictionary qualifies as a single-word candidate. – J.R. Jan 29 '14 at 3:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.