What does Hindsight is 20/20 mean?
Hindsight is 20/20 is a popular phrase, stating the fact that everyone is a wise man in hindsight.
The expression references the Snellen chart used for diagnosing eye conditions.
A 20/20 on the Snellen chart is a perfect score, used for deeming the visual acuity of someone unimpaired.
What's the origin of Hindsight is 20/20?
The Snellen chart, which most people recognize today as the rows of letters in varying sizes at the doctor’s office was developed by Herman Snellen in 1862.
“Hindsight is 20/20”, however, didn’t appear as a phrase until a century later, with the earliest documented cases emerging in the late 1950’s, with one of the earliest mentions appearing in a 1959 issue of The Canadian Record.
Spread & Usage
How did Hindsight is 20/20 spread?
Over the years, the expression became a widespread cliché, known by most that every fool is a wise man in hindsight.
“Hindsight is 20/20” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2006.
- Espressoenglish.net – English Phrase: Hindsight Is 20/20
- Writtenexplained.org – What Does Hindsight is 20 20 Mean?