close but not quite

EdisonBhola

Senior Member
Korean
Hi all, I saw the expression "close but not quite" from:
Close but not quite!

It was used as a title. My query is, is the title incomplete? Not quite what? :(

Would it be better to say "close but not quite there"?
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    It is a fixed phrase and almost universally understood in the USA.

    It means that you very nearly accomplished your goal.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    My query is, is the title incomplete?
    No. Titles of articles are often worded that way - just hinting at what it refers to but not actually saying it. It's not a complete sentence but neither is it "incomplete" in the sense you mean. It was deliberately written that way.
    Would it be better to say "close but not quite there"?
    This isn't very different. The original carries more effect, actually.
     

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    It is a fixed phrase and almost universally understood in the USA.

    It means that you very nearly accomplished your goal.
    Can it be used in the context of something being almost 100% correct? For example:

    You misspelled "fish" as "fosh". It was close but not quite.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Can it be used in the context of something being almost 100% correct? For example:

    You misspelled "fish" as "fosh". It was close but not quite.

    Yes.

    A similar phrase with almost identical meaning is, "Close, but no cigar."

    'Close, but no cigar' - the meaning and origin of this phrase

    The phrase, and its variant 'nice try, but no cigar', are of US origin and date from the mid-20th century. Fairground stalls gave out cigars as prizes, and this is the most likely source, although there's no definitive evidence to prove that.
     
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