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Q:
Where does the phrase, “Close, but no cigar” originate from?
A:

I believe it comes from the old carnivals and street fairs. One of the many ways to lose your money was to test your strength on a tower with a bell on top. You’d hit a sort of flipper at the bottom with a big sledge hammer, sending a weight up toward the bell. The prize for hitting the bell was a cigar. Not many were strong enough to drive the weight all the way and so were told, “Close, but no cigar.”

Answer provided by Dr. Universe
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December 9, 2017

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