Curious George

A fountain of material and immaterial information - Things that I spend my days wondering about... and perhaps you have been too? Check out for more curious questions (and answers to them)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Close but no Cigar

For some reason I have taken the expression above to heart and it seems to pop out of my mouth from time to time.
A good friend of mine the other day called me on it, and was wondering how the expression had originated. I had to admit a gaping hole in my knowledge, and obviously have to share my findings with all y'all.

The expression originates from the US, more specifically the fair-ground stalls; where they gave out cigars as prices for a win. Some claim its the sledge-hammer one specifically (Where you "bang the bell" if you are strong enough), but perhaps it was also from other challenges.

The phrase first appeared on paper in the film-script 1935 filmed version of Annie Oakley
"Close, Colonel, but no cigar!"


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