You almost recall the name of the person you met long time ago, but after repeated attempts fail to recollect it.
What's the phrase to describe this situation?
"I met Sam's brother who is a math professor. But his name flirts my memory..."
Is this correct?
Of course while guessing, one could use the phrase "If my memory serves me right, his name is John.", but that is not what I am looking for.
Also you can use "I can't think of his name now"
If my memory serves me- this would not be used when guessing; it's used when you have an idea but are not sure.
Also 'I know him by sight, but I can't put a name to the face'.
In AmE, instead of "his name flirts my memory" we'd say "his name slips my mind."
I would use his name slips my mind too.