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Where did the “wire” come from?
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See this web site. It explains this phrase and also other English cliches.
This is a better URL: http://members.aol.com/MorelandC/HaveOriginsIndex.htm
The phrase refers to the finish line in a horse race, a string streched across the track. A very close race is uncertain "down to the wire," that is, to the end.
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