close, but no cigar

Close, but no cigar. (used for telling someone that they have failed, although their attempt, guess etc was almost successful) — хорошо, да не совсем; почти в точку; чуть-чуть не считается (досл.: близко, но сигары не видать)

Example 1: I know a couple who got letters saying, Close, but no cigar, baby. You're not on the list. (News about Celebrities)

Example 2: Actually, my name is Jane not June. Close, but no cigar. ( — ..близко, но не угадал.

The phrase, and its variant nice try, but no cigar, are of US origin and date from the mid-20th century. According to Bartleby , the phrase likely originated at carnivals when cigars were given away as prizes. We can imagine fiendish carnival workers using the feel-good phrase as a way to get suckers like us with poor aim to try our luck again.

The Phrase Finder offers a slightly different story. The site states that the saying came from the custom of early slot machines awarding cigars to winners. A third theory comes from Take Our Word for It , which says nobody knows exactly how the phrase came about, but that it likely came to prominence at carnivals, specifically the game where players use a sledgehammer to ring a bell. Macho victors were given cigars, while the wimps were told they came close, but they would not be receiving any carcinogenic tobacco for their efforts. (