Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cut out v.3

[ext. cut v.2 (2)/cut v.4 (2)]

1. to rush away, to leave fast, to escape.

[US]D. Crockett Narrative of the Life of D.C. (1934) 19: I then cut out.
[UK]Essex Standard 23 Oct. 4/4: I cocks my eye on the floor and there I seed his umbreller [...] so I picks it up and cuts out arter him.
[US]W.T. Thompson Chronicles of Pineville 143: Do you think he has cut out, sure enough?
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Mateship’ in Roderick (1972) 728: We’ll cut out in a week or two.
[US]O. Johnson Stover at Yale 83: Let’s cut out [W&F].
[US]S. Lewis Arrowsmith 154: If you’re going to keep me in rags, I’m going to cut out college!
[US]Cab Calloway ‘For the Last Time I Cried Over You’ 🎵 Oh, man, that soft cut out on me. / What you sayin’? / Yes, she copped a final on me.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 9: I cut out from that place every way but slow.
[US]Mad mag. May–June 20: And I’ll, like, cut out from this Capulet scene.
[US]C. Himes Crazy Kill 93: When Poor Boy cut out with that poke [...] there was a man looking out a window.
[UK]T. Taylor Baron’s Court All Change (2011) 104: ‘I’ve got to get to my quack’s before she cuts out’.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 89: She hunted around and found the kid and cutout.
[US](con. 1949) J.G. Dunne True Confessions (1979) 177: I cut out of Wenatchee when I was twelve. With a circus.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) H. Huncke ‘Detroit Redhead’ in Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1998) 105: Recently she had cut out with some trick who had eyes for her.
[US](con. 1985–90) P. Bourjois In Search of Respect 80: We sold the ring and then we cut out on her to go get a blast.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 19: We’re happy and so is Jeremy and he cuts out.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 104: I was just cutting out, Sonny.
[US]T. Piccirilli Last Kind Words 203: I pressed my lips to her forehead and cut out.

2. to stop; also as imper.

[UK]H.M. Milner Turpin’s Ride to York II vi: Cut out your blarney whids.
[US]Ade Fables in Sl. (1902) 82: Moral: Drink Deep, or Cut Out the Pierian Spring Alltogether.
Bismarck Dly Trib. (Dakota, ND) 10 Oct. 2/3: When you sigh for booze or beer, Cut it out. / [...] / If your nose is too blamed red, Cut it out / [...] / Booze never helped you yet, Cut it out.
[UK]A. Binstead Pitcher in Paradise 91: Cut all that out. Are you ready to begin?
[US]Day Book (Chicago) 21 Oct. 16/2: For goodness sake, Adolf, cut it out! You cry so easy.
Drew & Evans Grifter 8: ‘Cut it out [...] Cut it out. It’s done, and there’s an end to it’.
[US]Goodwin’s Wkly (Salt Lake City, UT) 2 June 12/3: Elmer said scowling, ‘Cut it out’.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Mufti 167: She’s just an ordinary common or garden flirt, and we’ll cut it right out.
[US]N.Y. Tribune 25 Apr. 75/1: [carftoon] Now Listen Your Here Violet [...] Cut it out, d’ya hear?
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘Great Security’ in Great Security 42: I cut out the drink this three months, Annie.
[UK]V. Davis Gentlemen of the Broad Arrows 121: Cut out talking, it’s work we want.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 65: ‘How are y’ now, Snowy love?’ she asked gently. ‘I’m all right,’ that worthy croaked feebly. ‘And cut out the Snowy love.’.
[US]J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye (1958) 9: I’m quite a heavy smoker, for one thing – that is, I used to be. They made me cut it out.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 130: Cut out that whispering.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 135: Cut out that kind of talk.
[UK]S. Berkoff West in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 105: Cut out the patter man.
[US]D. Hecht Skull Session 424: You cut that out! Don’t you fucking dare.

3. (Aus., orig. shearing) to finish, to complete a job.

[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 18: You’d better stop, Jim, and take a hand in the deal [...] and then you and George can take a turn at local-preaching when you’re cut out.
[Aus]Worker (Brisbane) 4 Sept. 8/4: Now when the shed at last ‘cuts out’ he gets his ‘little bit,’ / And straps his ‘peter’ on his ‘croc’ and quickly does a get.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Dust Thou Art’ in Roderick (1972) 316: Well, Jack, you’ve cut out at last.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Send Round the Hat’ in Roderick (1972) 469: The shanty was full of shearers from Big Billabong Shed which had cut out the day before.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 24 Jan. 4/5: The bunce was cut out after the first or so [...] had lubricated.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 27 Oct. 13/3: They want to be at it and cut out as early as possible, so as to get another few sheds before the shearing finishes; so jumbucks have to be wet before a board wants to knock off.
[UK]A. Wright Gamblers’ Gold (1931) 7: Early in the afternoon the last rough ‘cobbler’ lost his matted fleece, and the shed was ‘cut out’.
[Aus]D. Stivens Tramp and Other Stories 45: By lunch-time there was only a small oblong island of unstripped crop and he ate his sandwiches hurriedly. ‘You should cut out in less than an hour,’ the farmer said to him.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 284: In a little over a week the job cut out and they went on again.
[US]J. Greenway ‘Australian Cattle Lingo’ in AS XXXIII:3 165: cut out, v. phr. To close down operations. ‘We started out from Roto when the sheds had all cut out.’.
[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 51/1: cut out v. to serve (time in prison): ‘Have you got long to go?’ ‘Nah, I've cut out most of it’.

4. in fig. use, to die.

[US]Babs Gonzales I Paid My Dues 53: I’m going to drink everything I want to. If I ‘cut out,’ at least I’ll go happy.
R. Charles Brother Ray 173: He was a fine singer [...] and it was a crime that he had to cut out so early.
[US]J. Ridley Everybody Smokes in Hell 42: Why in hell would Ian want to cut out when his life brimmed until it sloshed with so much stuff?
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 182: ‘She’s got the Big C., and she’s cutting out fast’.

5. (Aus.) to spend time.

[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 25: A bonzer way to cut out your leave, I can tell you.

6. (US) to lose concentration or enthusiasm.

[US]Rayman & Blau Riker’s 219: I was a kid who was very good in the ninth and tenth grade and then in eleventh and twelfth grade, I started to cut out.

In phrases

cut out a cheque (v.) (also cut (it) out)

(Aus./N.Z.) to spend all one’s earnings in one go.

Northern Teritory Times & Gaz. (Darwin) 28 Nov. 2/7: It was common for a man to hand his cheque - anything from £10 to £100 - to the publican with an injunction to ‘wire’ him when it was ‘cut out’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 1 Oct. 43/2: It was customary for a man to hand his cheque over with an injunction to notify him when it was cut out.
[Aus]Aussie (France) 4 Apr. 10/1: I uster [...] chip in at a two-up school, an’ w’en I’d got good ’oof fer the shrap. imshee off to the jestaminnet an’ cut it out that way.
[NZ]J.A. Lee Shiner Slattery 118: ‘He’ll give ye a starter if you have a good cheque.’ ‘A kick in the tail when the cheque’s cut out.’.
[US]J. Lansdale Two-Bear Mambo (1996) 65: [The shearer] also cuts out a cheque.
cut out on (v.)

to desert, to abandon.

[US]Mad mag. Jan.–Feb. 48: Don’t cut out on me.
[US]A.S. Fleischman Venetian Blonde (2006) 176: Could Antony ditch Cleopatra? [...] Did Tristan cut out on Isolde?

In exclamations

cut that out! (also cut it out! cut that!)

stop doing that!

[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn) 126: cut that! be quiet, or stop.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. [as cit. 1860].
[Can]A. Stringer Under Groove 5: ‘Aw, cut it out!’ growled Dinney.
Irish News 18 May 8/6: As he took up his pen, a voice said distinctly, ‘Ah, cut that out!’.
[US]P.J. Wolfson Bodies are Dust (2019) [ebook] ‘Cut it out and sit down’.
[Aus]D. Stivens Tramp and Other Stories 52: He put his hand on the drunk’s shoulder and pushed. [...] ‘’Ere, cut that out!’ one of the drunken men cried.
[Aus]D. Niland Big Smoke 32: Now, Pop, cut that out.
[US]P. Crump Burn, Killer, Burn! 15: Here, here! Cut that out!