Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Close, but no cigar

(originally posted April 6th, 2006)

Definition: close to the goal, but not quite.

A: (Panting) "I ... almost ... beat you!"
B: (Panting, shaking head) "Close, ... but ... no cigar."

Origin: One explanation was that travelling carnival shows have those "strength contests" where the player picks up a jackhammer and hits a lever as hard as he could. The other end of the lever is under a weight. If the player can hit the lever hard enough, the weight will be popped all the way up to hit a bell, thus causing a loud "ding". If he can "ring" the bell, he'll get a cigar as a reward. Thus, if he came close, it's "close, but no cigar."

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