Thursday, 26 January 2012

Objective Proficiency p 118. Close, But No Cigar. Extra Listening

close, but no cigar used to tell somebody that their attempt or guess was almost but not quite successful. Almost succeeded but not quite.
A: How old do you think I am? B: 36?
A: Nope – 35. Close, but no cigar.

Five of my numbers came up in the lottery. Close, but no cigar.

They hit the post in the last second of the game. Close, but no cigar!
Related expressions:

a miss is as good as a mile (saying) there is no real difference between only just failing in something and failing in it badly because the result is still the same. E.g. We only missed the train by one minute? Well, a miss is as good as a mile.

by the skin of your teeth: (informal) if you do something by the skin of your teeth, you only just manage to do it. E.g. He escaped defeat by the skin of his teeth. 
hair's breadth: a very small amount or distance. E.g. We won by a hair's breadth. They were within a hair's breadth of being killed.

near miss:  a situation when a serious accident or a disaster very nearly happens. E.g. The two planes almost hit each other. It was a near miss. He’s a terrible driver. We had one near miss after another!


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