close enough for government work

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The phrase was created in World War II with the usage meaning that a product met the highest standards of quality and would not be accepted by Uncle Sam if it did not. The phrase was used as early as 1906 in Canada with the usage being neither disparaging nor better than non-government work.[1]. It was used disparagingly as early as 1960[2].

Adjective[edit]

close enough for government work (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic, humorous, pejorative, slang) Good enough; not worth the time or effort of perfecting.

Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]