Go for the brass ring

Michael Quinion TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Wed Apr 7 13:37:36 UTC 2004

One of my subscribers has asked a simple question that has stumped my
reference books: "When people go for the brass ring, what exactly are
they going for? Why is a brass ring a symbol of success?" None of my
books even mentions the expression. Can anyone help with pointers
towards its origin or how old it is? (The earliest example on
newspaperarchive.com is dated March 1966.)

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: <TheEditor at worldwidewords.org>
Web: <http://www.worldwidewords.org/>

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