close enough for government work

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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. [1] The phrase was used as early as 1906 in Canada with the usage being neither disparaging nor better than non-government work.[2]. It was used disparagingly as early as 1960[3].


close enough for government work

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