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three on a match

Posted by RRC on March 11, 2008 at 14:22:

In Reply to: WWI phrase posted by Steven on March 11, 2008 at 14:13:

: Hi, I'm looking for the phrase from its origin.

: I heard its story a long time ago but have never remembered the actual phrase.

: During World War 1 in the trenches, this phrase had something to do with men lighting up their cigarettes, and that the 3rd strike of the match was unlucky, as the first one would alert an enemy (because of the light), the second one would give him a chance to aim, and the 3rd to fire. But I'm sure there is a phrase relating to this.

The phrase you're looking for is "three on a match", but it's about leaving one match lit long enough to light three cigarettes. Matches can't be struck more than once anyway.