cut the painter v.
1. to dismiss or send away a person.
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: I’ll Cut your Painter for ye, I’ll prevent ye doing me any Mischief.|
|New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Painter, I’ll cut your painter for you, I’ll send you off.|
|Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
2. to slip away clandestinely.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 31 Jan. 14/1: Teemer has cut the painter from Morris and Soulson, the backers whom he alleges played him false over the recent race with Gaudaur, and will in future manage himself.|
|Truth (Sydney) 4 Mar. 1/3: Fiddle-de-dee / That might have caused, were’t even written fainter, / Australian provinces to ‘cut the painter’.|
|(con. 1830s–60s) All That Swagger 85: There were women who had cut the painter because they were ‘loose’.|
3. to die.
|DSUE (8th edn) 283/2: naut. from ca. 1850.|
4. to bring something to an irrevocable conclusion.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Apr. 20/3: Public enthusiasm is a queer thing. A few years ago in Queensland M’Ilwraith propounded his National policy and talked big things about cutting the painter, and Bananaland roared itself hoarse with applause. Now a man who talks about cutting the painter gets stoned in the streets.|
|Psmith in the City (1993) 141: There was no doubt that he had cut the painter once and for all.|