A-Z Database

A-Z Database

All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Cut a dash

see Dash/dashing


Cut a rug

American slang for dance is first attested from 1942.


Cut above

Cut is used here in the sense of a measure, level or a stage. In the old days, notches or cuts made at intervals along a piece of wood were used as me...

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Cut and dried

Means completed and pre-arranged with the connotation of lack of spontaneity and freshness. The expression dates from the 18th century and derives per...

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Cut and run

Cut and run was originally a nautical expression from the 18th century meaning to cut the anchor rope, without waiting to haul the anchor in, and make...

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Cut and thrust

A spirited contest with rapid changes of advantage, cut and thrust is one of those fencing terms that have made their way into the language of debate...

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Cut corners

To do so something in the easiest, fastest, or cheapest way, but not necessarily in the best way, dates from the late 19th century. It derives from th...

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Cut dead

To cut someone as in to ignore them totally dates from the 17th century. The intensification to cut someone dead is from the early 19th century.


Cut it

As in cope, manage, rise to the occasion or succeed is American from the late 19th/early 20th century.


Cut no ice

see Cuts no ice


Cut of one’s jib

Describes someone’s general appearance or demeanour with reference to the triangular sail between the foremast and the prow of a ship by which sailors...

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Cut off one’s nose to spite one’s face

A warning against reckless action that results in just as much, if not more, harm to oneself. It is not known whether a real nose was ever cut off in...

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Cut one’s coat according to one’s cloth

Very sensible expression from tailoring that now means to act in accordance with one’s resources or to live within one’s means. It appears in John Hey...

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Cut someone dead

see Cut dead


Cut someone some slack

To give someone room or freedom to move or act, an American expression that dates from the 1970s and despite the allusion to paying out slack from a r...

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