example I:

Then I remembered, almost as an afterthought, to add clove and cinnamon.

(edited) example II.

The vice presidential candidate tends to be a bit of an afterthought.

google translates afterthought as раздумье, but that can't be right.

There's also ретроспектива (retrospect) but it's not a good fit either

  • запоздалая мысль seems like a rather direct tranlsation but is certainly a better fit than раздумье
    – postmortes
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 14:47
  • We convey the same idea using words and phrases that appear most appropriate in the given context. As with most words there is no one-to-one match in Russian for the English afterthought. In your example, almost as an afterthought would most likely be translated as чуть ли не в последнюю минуту. You can see more examples on Reverso (but be warned - Reverso is a useful resource but it contains lots of garbage too).
    – tum_
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 15:03
  • @tum_ that's not a bad option if i want to use afterthought as something I remembered in the last min, (=preparing a dish and adding items from a fixed list of ingredients and cooking time) but what if i am experimenting with a recipe? if i am using afterthought as in sthg (a part/ feature) not thought of originally? your reverso link has this example with the word дополнение would it be a good fit?
    – emil
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 10:49
  • Maybe, maybe not. Are we still talking about the example sentence given in your question? Then I don't quite see how you can remember something if you have not thought of it originally... If you mean a different sentence - let's see the whole sentence. (Note: it is always best to Edit the original question rather than generate a chat in the comments).
    – tum_
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 11:22
  • @tum_ your translation is perfectly fine for the example given, i am just experimenting with the translation, trying to find a russian word that would fit both meanings of the English one. added another sentence to demonstrate.
    – emil
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 11:58

3 Answers 3


"Afterthought" is a word that's highly specific to English, in that it has a strong connotation of lesser importance or relevance, which isn't inherently connected to the idea of not thinking of something until later. Russian is probably far from the only language to not have an established term for that particular combination of ideas.

Russian has its own highly idiomatic verb which, connotation-wise, may be the opposite of "afterthought": спохватиться, "to suddenly [and almost belatedly] remember or realise". The implied importance here is greater, not lesser.

As for your example, I'd rephrase it as Потом добавил(а) гвоздику и корицу — чуть не забыл(а). (Since I think I can safely presume that я was used in the preceding sentence, the pronoun drop here makes it flow better.)

  • IMHO "Afterthought" is different from "Sudden realization" because the former is optional whereas the latter is critical. Examples of "спохватиться" and "чуть не забыть" line up with "sudden realization" rather than "afterthought".
    – Alexander
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 21:20
  • 1
    @Alexander That was my point, more or less. Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 23:30

"Afterthought" is indeed has no direct translation to Russian, particularly not in the sense of "thought". However, an action of adding something of a lesser importance to an already compiled list can be described by a number of words and idioms:

  • Вдобавок (in addition)
  • Можно еще (possible as well)
  • Ну и еще (and also)
  • Не повредит (won't harm to)
  • Для пущей важности (for greater show)
  • До кучи (for completeness)
  • Ну раз пошла такая пьянка (if we have a drinking party like this)

I think the closest translation to Russian we can achieve using the transgressive of поразмыслить - поразмыслив.

Затем, поразмыслив, я вспомнил(а), что нужно добавить гвоздику и корицу.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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