literally maybe, but since it's an expression the equivalent in English is "sooner or later"
It is only by reading the remarks here that I can remember "prima o poi": somebody mentioning primo brought up the fact that it was actually prima, which I had not observed at first.
how can poi mean Then... as we've learned up to now... and now learn it means .... later. Those 2 words aren't really connected. Haven't we been taught that ritardo... tardi... etc.. mean Late. How do we know when to use Poi instead of those other words for ... Later ??
'Then' can mean a particular time in the past or in the future. Translate with 'allora' for the past and 'poi' or 'dopo' for the future.
'Ritardo' is a noun not an adverb (cognate with 'retard') : Un ritardo di una ore - an hour delay'. To make it more complicated: 'In ritardo' is an adverb: 'Essere in ritardo - to be late.
You can get a sense if it is used often by seeing it in context using Reverso Context: http://context.reverso.net/translation/italian-english/prima+o+poi It seems to be used fairly commonly, but a native Italian speaker will have to verify.
I agree. If DOPO means after.... Can you say.... Prima o dopo. Would it be correct & understood?