Close, But No Cigar

Context can be so important for idioms, and that certainly applies to Close, But No Cigar.  The "close but no" part could make sense, but what do "cigars" have to do with it?

The phrase comes from carnival games where cigars would be the prize for winning.  However, maybe you know that carnival games can be tricky. They don't want you to win, but they want you to think that you could if you just keep trying.  So, if you almost get it, you might be taunted with, "Close, but no cigar."

Now, it means that you almost succeeded, but no.  As the carnival folk would say, "Better luck next time."

See you next week!

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