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The original version of this phrase is “He who hesitates is lost”, which dates back to the 18th century, though exact origins are unknown. The phrase has seen many variations, but “He who hesitates is not only lost but miles from the next exit” originated in Herald, a Pennsylvania newspaper, on November 28, 1964. The column, written by Frankie Sabas, was titled “Noah Numskull”. The phrase appeared two more times in other newspapers the following year.