Showing posts with label Cigar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cigar. Show all posts

Dec 12, 2014

Wordology, Lector

The word ‘lector’ usually makes us think of university lecturers and public speakers, but in the 1900s, a lector was actually a form of entertainment. A factory lector was employed to entertain workers in cigar factories by reading out loud, usually newspapers and sometimes novels. The profession started in Cuba, later becoming more prominent in New York and Florida.

Life in a cigar factory was mostly manual labor, such as rolling cigars by hand, so the lectors proved to be good for the morale of workers. The employees would pool money together to help pay the lector’s salary. Lectors had a huge influence on the workers, providing an education for them through their reading. Lectors were eventually replaced by radios during the 1920’s.

Sep 21, 2013

Close, But No Cigar

This  means to fall short of a successful outcome. It was first used in the United States in the early 1900s and is likely the phrase originated at fairgrounds.

Much like fairs today, booths would be set up and fair workers would host difficult to win games for fair goers to try. Games of strength, accuracy, and skill were played by men and women. Back then, prizes were for mom and dad, and cigars were a very common prize given out to winners. The phrase apparently originated when someone came close to winning one of the games, but ultimately lost and so did not win a cigar. Workers yelled it out out when people lost, trying to draw crowds and encourage the person to try again. As the fairs traveled, the phrase spread rapidly and it began to be used any time someone did not meet expectations.