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The meaning and origin of the expression: That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind

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That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind

Meaning

Neil Armstrong's words on first setting foot on the moon, in 1969. A strong contender as the most famous line ever to have been uttered.

Origin

one small stepArmstrong's words are sometimes given as, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Clearly the event was of huge significance and the choice of words was quite deliberate. Armstrong maintained for some time later that he said "for a man" rather than "for man". That line was what he, with the help of his wife, had prepared in advance. The rather fuzzy tapes of the event aren't clear enough to be sure, although the 'a' does appear to be missing.

In more recent years, after listening again to the recording, Armstrong has acknowledged that he may have fluffed his line. More recently still, analysis of the tape indicates that the 'a' may have be present on the recording but is too indistinct to hear.

Other 'One' phrases:

One-hit wonder
One fell swoop - At
One for the road
One foot in the grave
One over the eight
One sandwich short of a picnic
One stop shop
One swallow doesn't make a summer