Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cut v.2

[SE cut]

1. to walk; to move along; usu. with prep., e.g. along, over, through, down, up; occas. as n. cut, a trip, a journey.

[UK]W. Lambarde Perambulations of Kent (1826) 236: Thus have I walked about this whole Diocese: now therefore let me cutte over to Watlingstreete.
[UK]Nashe Countercuffe to Martin Junior in Works I (1883–4) 79: He came latelie ouer-sea into Kent, fro thence he cut ouer into Essex.
[Scot]Memoirs [...] of Sir Robert Keith Murray in Fife Herald 12 Apr. 1889 4/6: He won £3000! His good fortune then left him and [...] he cut at three o’clock in the morning, with £2,300.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]C. Dibdin ‘Jack in his Element’ Collection of Songs II 65: She cut, I chased.
[Ire]Tom and Jerry; Musical Extravaganza I v: She cut as soon as she tipp’d it you.
[UK]‘The Lady’s Wound’ in Flash Minstrel! in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) I 120: But to his fright they were not there! / His wife with Mr Wright so gay, / At six o’clock had cut away.
[UK]‘The Spree’ in New Cockalorum Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) II 11: They all cut and left me in the lurch.
[US]T. Haliburton Letter-bag of the Great Western (1873) 135: I shall cut off to Harrisburg, Pa. to-morrow as soon as I land, and then proceed to Pittsville, Ma.
[UK]New Sporting Mag. (London) Dec. 397: Without waiting for a result I ‘cut off’ with all possible haste to the jungle.
[UK]G.W.M. Reynolds Mysteries of London II (2nd Ser.) 29: Cut along, old fellow.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) III 285: Cut after her into luncheon, and have it out over the cold mutton and pickles.
[UK]H. Kingsley Recollections of G. Hamlyn (1891) 96: Cut along and tell him before I do you a mischief.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor III 69/1: They came out with sticks and bricks, and cut after us. We bolted with the guy. [Ibid.] 218/2: He cut after her and pecked at her naked feet.
[US]H.L. Williams Ticket-of-Leave Man 22: Suppose you cut. I see my man looking for me!
[UK]Leeds Times 28 Mar. 6/5: Cut round to Webb’s, and fetch another pot of ’umble [...] an’ look sharp back.
Courier (Hobart, Tas.) 27 Oct. 3/1: [advert, from UK source] [O]ne of the Top Manufacturers of Manchester had cut his lucky, and stepped off to the Swan Stream.
[UK]Bristol Magpie 13 July 7/2: Tho’ Thompson's ‘cut’ away in debt, deny it, if you can; / While no one knows his whereabouts he’s still a non est man.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 83: Jim and I cuts off into the town, thinking we was due for a little fun.
[Ind]Kipling ‘Her Little Responsibility’ in Civil & Military Gaz. 19 Sept. (1909) 16: ‘So you cut about in fine clothes, do you, and take your drinks at the best bars’.
[UK]Kipling ‘Private Learoyd’s Story’ Soldiers Three (1907) 26: An’ then cooms up a few of her relations an’ friends to say good-bye [...] an’ we cuts away.
[UK]G. du Maurier Trilby 330: Little Billee, restored to his balance, cut back to his own bed.
[US]C.L. Cullen More Ex-Tank Tales 86: I cut around the back way for the farm.
[UK]Gem 30 Mar. 5: I’ll grasp your blooming ear if you don’t cut along, you young rascal!
[UK]Gem 17 Oct. 19: Now you’d better cut off to the school.
[UK]Boys’ Best 20 Oct. 42: Let’s cut along to the Grammar School.
[UK]Kipling ‘Propagation of Knowledge’ Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 228: You cut up to the library after tea, Beetle.
D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam Star-News 21 Mar. 16: ‘I’ve been on a heavy cut for a sco’ o’ blo’s and Jackson, the trilly was tough’.
[UK](con. 1923) R. Westerby Mad in Pursuit 56: ‘All right, cut up,’ he said to Jim.
[UK](con. 1912) B. Marshall George Brown’s Schooldays 17: Cut along back to your cube.
[US]Kerouac letter 27 Dec. in Charters I (1995) 244: I see me & her cutting around the world in tweeds, yass ...
[US]Kerouac On The Road (1972) 147: Wait till she grows up! Can’t you see her cuttin’ down Canal Street with her cute eyes.
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Jailbait Street (1963) 19: He trapped himself when he cut away from me and crossed the street.
[US]‘Lord Buckley’ Hiparama of the Classics 8: The crowd whistlin’ Indian Jazz Music as they cut along the pikes of India. [Ibid.] 18: And the next thing you know, WHAM!! They is in Rome, cuttin’ up the pike.
[US]E. Torres After Hours 105: I cut behind the car.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) H. Huncke ‘Detroit Redhead’ Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1998) 106: She was something to see cutting down the street.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 151: Bud cut north on Vine.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 317: Parking at a meter in Duke Street he cut through to Lord Philippe’s club.
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 155: They cut over Truman and ‘K’. They met the conk guys.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 10: We [...] cut to the far right lane.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 152: I cut over to the casting office.

2. to leave, to desert, to run off, to escape.

implied in cut away
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘Bill Truck’ Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 279: At the time I cut, Ned, there was due to me better than some eighteen months’ pay.
[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) Sept. 7 n.p.: Larry — Shoemaker has gone ona tramp [...] Michael Cutler has cut .
[UK]Bell’s Penny Dispatch 20 Mar. 3/3: They soon cut the dancing and formed a sort of ring around him, to hear his opinions as to the late fight.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 26 Feb. 1/4: I buzzes, cuts, and not no down.
[US]M. Griffith Autobiog. of a Female Slave 40: ‘Now cut like the wind,’ he added, as he flourished his whip in the direction of the young blacks [...] and quick as lightning they were off.
[US]R.H. Newell Orpheus C. Kerr I 74: I [...] appointed myself special guard of one of the baggage-wagons in the extreme rear. The driver saw me coming, and says he: ‘You can’t cut behind this here wehicle, my fine little boy’.
[Ind]Hills & Plains 2 73: ‘The tradesmen will think you are ghoing to cut, and [...] will quad you instanter’.
[UK]Thackeray Early and late papers hitherto uncollected 303: [note] Whilst I was looking for the books, Lord Orville came in. He looked uncommonly down in the mouth, as he said: ‘Is this true, Miss Anville; are you going to cut?’.
[Aus]Hamilton Spectator (Vic.) 7 Jan. 1/7: A young gentleman gets into ‘little difficulties,’ [...] He fears he will have to ‘absquatulate,’ ‘ missle,’ ‘ slope,’ ‘ cut’ ‘ dodge,’ ‘make tracks,’ ‘make himself scarce,’ unless the governor ‘shells out’.
[US]W.H. Thomes Bushrangers 65: Give us the jewels, or tell us where they is, and we’ll let you cut, and divil a word shall the others know of it.
[UK]Sporting Times 15 Mar. 1/2: Breathes there a boy with soul so dead who has never rung an old gentleman’s bell violently, and then cut away?
[UK]R. Rowe Picked Up in the Streets 54: It was from Harwich I cut.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Mar. 22/4: Look here, I want to cut this. Come down in the rope-hole and let’s change clothes. It was all the fashion in the holden time.
[UK]Kipling ‘Gunga Din’ Barrack-Room Ballads (1893) 164: If we charged or broke or cut / You could bet your bloomin’ nut / ’E’d be waitin’ fifty paces right flank rear.
[UK]A. Binstead Pitcher in Paradise 127: They cut up the hill like L for leather.
[UK]Boys’ Best 20 Oct. 43: Go away! Clear out! Cut, or I won’t be responsible for what happens.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Fly Paper’ Story Omnibus (1966) 56: I let it alone, and caught a street car instead, and cut for the yards.
[US]E. Brown Trespass 159: You cuttin’ for keeps [...] Now get out.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 29: A junkie hands you the money, takes his junk and cuts.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 300: Lucy smiled demurely when Abe asked her if she’d like to cut.
[US](con. 1940s) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 63: ‘Let’s cut!’ Glenn spat. ‘Think I coulda killed im.’.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 165: Rameez and the posse went round checking, find crack and it was cutting time.
[US]C. Carr Our Town 315: But a fifteen-year-old boy – he’s gonna cut from his eighteen-and nineteen-year-old buddies? He’s gonna cut the scene and leave it?
[UK]G. Krauze Who They Was 4: Fuck this, we need to cut blood.

3. to turn; thus cut a left/cut a right v.

[US]G. Pelecanos Hell to Pay 82: Tucker shot right on Alaska, then another right up 13th [...] where he cut a left onto Iris.

In phrases

cut and run (v.)

see separate entry.

cut ass (v.) [ass n. (4)]

(US) to leave, to run off.

[US]Wentworth & Flexner DAS 136/1: cut A (a) = cut out. [...] A euphem. for cut ass.
[US]W. Eastlake Bamboo Bed (1970) 51: Sarge, we could cut ass out.
cut a track (v.)

(N.Z.) to run away/off, escape, e.g. from prison, from pursuing authorities.

[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 51/1: cut a track v. 1 to escape (esp. from prison) 2 to run away (esp. from the police), to avoid arrest.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 57: cut a track Leave, usually in a hurry.
cut away (v.) (also cut by, cut off)

to leave, to run off.

[UK]C. Cotton Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk I 19: Away they cut as swift as Swallows. [Ibid.] Bk IV 90: Put on the Wings that used to bear ye, / And cut away to Carthage quickly.
[UK] ‘Gallery of 140 Comicalities’ Bell’s Life in London 24 June 1/3: Here’s the b----y Traps! Cut away, my kiddy.
[UK]Mr Mathews’ Comic Annual 22: Now, Jim, my boy, cut away.
[UK] ‘Ballet Girl’ Gentleman’s Spicey Songster 5: And when I’d watched them out of sight, / I sighed, and cut away.
[UK]R.F. Walond Paddiana II 102: So I cuts aff to Foot’s for the snuff.
[US]T. Haliburton Nature and Human Nature II 24: Dey tink it is night, and cut off.
[UK] ‘Sunday Trading Bill’ in C. Hindley Curiosities of Street Lit. (1871) 115: To the gin shop you can cut away.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor III 114/1: I cut away and come up to London again.
[US]C.G. Leland ‘Breitsmann in Germany’ Hans Breitmann in Europe 258: Dear lofe, so shendle und so goot! / I’ll cut away mit dee.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 31 Oct. 6/3: Only give me a king to talk to and you will make my life a real treat. So now cut away, and if you and your intelligent subjects haven’t that trim little schooner of mine piled up with pearl-shells before sundown, the next mariner that visits this island will find himself alone.
[UK]E. Pugh Tony Drum 25: I got up mighty quick, and cut off as fast as I could go.
[UK]G.R. Sims In London’s Heart 5: He’s green at the game, or he wouldn’t have cut off like that.
[UK]Marvel 23 Dec. 64: Cut away, or you’ll be fined!
[UK]Marvel 10 Apr. 3: You’ve had enough. Cut away and sleep it off somewhere!
[US]N. Anderson Hobo 82: It [wanderlust] comes upon us unaware; and often we cut away and go.
[UK]D.L. Sayers Nine Tailors (1984) 81: You cut off home.
[UK]N. Marsh Final Curtain (1958) 248: You cut off and don’t worry about it.
[US]Kerouac On the Road (The Orig. Scroll) (2007) 188: The most beautiful little gone gals in the world cut by.
[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 115: You used the glass to keep a vic in sight without being on his case too lean. And you didn’t cut off like you’d been goosed if he saw you.
cut behind (v.)

(US) to steal a ride on a vehicle.

[US](con. 1870s) F. Weitenkampf Manhattan Kaleidoscope 83: ‘Cut behind’ or ‘hitch behind’ notified a driver that a boy was stealing a ride on the back of his vehicle, by hanging on to it or by attaching his bob-sled.
cut for it (v.)

to run off, to make an escape.

[UK]F.W. Farrar Eric II 291: We must cut for it.
[UK]C. Rook Hooligan Nights 60: ’E said ’e’d be at ’and if I had to cut for it.
[UK]R. Baker Penal Battalion 80: ‘Why can’t we get free, and cut for it?’ asked one, with a hysterical break in his voice.
cut it (to) (v.)

to run off (to).

[Aus]Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 18 Feb. 3/2: Why not follow the example of his great military prototype of old [...] and cut it, his creditors and the Colony at once.
[UK]Dickens Bleak House (1991) 144: A vocalist [...] who is released upon the flight of the rest, on condition of his getting out of this then, come! and cutting it — a condition he immediately observes.
[US]Besant & Rice ‘Seamy Side’ Appleton’s Journal (N.Y.) Nov. 412: Then there’s nothing for it [...] but to — cut it.
[UK]‘F. Anstey’ Vice Versa (1931) 77: Bosher said, ‘Let’s cut it!’ and he and Peebles bolted.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 278: He heard that all the shepherds at the lower station had cut it to the diggings.
[UK]Marvel XIV:344 June 4: Well, we’ll cut it.
cut one’s lucky (v.) (also make one’s lucky, take…) [? SE lucky escape]

to run off.

[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 379: Our heroes made their lucky as soon as they conveniently could.
[UK] ‘Mrs. Jones’ Delicious Chanter 31: I’ll cut my lucky – and hide.
[UK]G.W.M. Reynolds ‘The House Breaker’s Song’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 122: At dusk we’ll make our lucky, and then, / With our nags so fresh, and our merry men, / We’ll scour the lonely ground.
[UK]Flash Mirror 6: Bouncing. — Walking into a coffee-house, blowing out your kite till you cannot eat any more, flooring the shopkeeper and making your lucky.
[US]N.Y. Sporting Whip 4 Feb. 3/2: The young gentleman had all he had bargained for, and [...] told her in the most bland and polite terms to cut her lucky.
[Aus]Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 11 Mar. 4/1: And as I’m not reckoned excessively pluckey, / I wish you good evening — for I’ll cut my luckey.
[UK]J. Lindridge Sixteen-String Jack 210: Jared had requested him over and over again, to bolt, mizzle, hook it, namhus, kut his lucky, shake his trotters, waggle his extenders.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 8 Aug. 3/4: Another man, who being prevented from running the stuff off, had run off himself, and made his lucky.
[Ind]Delhi Sketch Bk 1 Oct. 63/2: I cut my lucky and went home to bed.
[UK] advert in ‘Ducange Anglicus’ Vulgar Tongue (1857) 45: On his return home he was stunned to find one of the top manufacturers of Manchester had cut his lucky, and stepped off to the Swan Stream.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor II 154/1: The ‘Johnnys’ on the water are always on the look out, and if they sees any on us about, we has to cut our lucky.
[Aus]Gympie Times (Qld) 11 Jan. 3/6: He never goes away or withdraws, but [...] ‘cuts his stick’ — or [...] ‘cuts his lucky!’.
[UK]C. Hindley Life and Adventures of a Cheap Jack 78: Mike, as he was leaving the house, put his hand into a flour-tub and threw some over me, and then cut his lucky.
[UK]S. Watson Wops the Waif 9/2: As soon as ever I sees the coast clear, I shall cut my lucky.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 21 Sept. 4/1: ‘We’ll have to cut our lucky, for the game is finished here’.
[UK]‘Pot’ & ‘Swears’ Scarlet City 189: Your Uncle theobald has cut his lucky.
[UK]Marvel XV:377 Jan. 11: The brute scared Babyface, anyhow, and he cut his lucky.
[Ire]K.F. Purdon Dinny on the Doorstep 155: Tim, having been roughly bidden to ‘cut his lucky out of that afore they came back,’ sloped off.
[UK](con. c.1910) J.B. Booth London Town 305: When I get there, e’d cut ’is lucky.
[UK]G. Kersh Fowlers End (2001) 222: Drink your tea, grab your bag, and take your lucky.
cut one’s sticks (v.)

see separate entry.

cut someone’s balls off (v.)

to render completely impotent.

[US]Bernstein & Woodward All the President’s Men 298: [H]e’s got to convince everybody—the prosecutors, the press and Senator Sam’s people on the Hill—that he’s telling the truth. Otherwise the White House will cut his balls off .
cut the game (v.)

(US campus) to leave a situation, e.g. a party.

[US]Star-Gaz. (Elmira, NY) 15 May 4/3: Yale College Slang [...] They were trying to sew me up [...] and I wasn’t going to get my leg jerked, so I cut the game.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

cut and tuck (n.) [shorthand for the surgery involved]

(Aus. prison) a male-to-female sex-change operation.

[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. 🌐 Cut and tuck. Sex change. Transexual’s operation whereby the penis is removed and a vagina of sorts is surgically created.

see separate entries.

cut-throat (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

cut... (v.)

see also under relevant n.

cut a big gut (v.) [the butchering of an animal, when a slip of the knife, typically into the gall-bladder, can ruin the meat]

(US) to make a mistake, esp. an embarrassing one.

[US]R.F. Adams Cowboy Lingo 206: To make oneself ridiculous was to ‘cut a big gut’.
[US]Boston Globe (MA) 28 Feb. 55/3: Pinto looked his brother over scornfully [...] ‘You shore did cut a big gut.’ [...] Paint bristled up, ‘Don’t you dast to talk thataway to me!’.
[US]Randolph & Wilson Down in the Holler 237: cut a big gut: phr. To do something foolish, to make oneself ridiculous.
[US]J. Hayes Long Dark Night 36: You made the wrong assumptions, Diehl, and you took action on them, precipitous action. [...] Well, anybody could cut a big gut.
cut a hog (v.) (also cut a big hog in the mouth with a small knife, cut a hog in two)

(US) to make a mistake, esp. when attempting a task beyond one’s abilities.

[US]DN III 574: Cut a big hog in the mouth with a small knife [...] To attempt something beyond one’s capacity.
[US]C. McKay Banjo 221: You won’t be able to stand them drunk or sober. I know it. You’ll cut a hell of a hog before you know what’s happening.
[US]Z.N. Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God (1995) 254: B’lieve Ah done cut uh hawg, so Ah guess Ah better ketch air.
[US]F.G. Cassidy ‘More Notes from Wisconsin’ in AS XXII:4 299: Cut a hog in two [...] Example: Dan started for Portage, where he met his brother H.W. ‘I’ve come up to study law with you, by thunder.’ H.W replied sharply, ‘You have? You are a darned fool; you’d better stick to printing. You’ll cut a hog in two studying law? But if you are bound to stick to law, you can see what you can do.’.
[US]D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam News 4 Jan. 8: I don’t attempt to explain [...] whether Lincoln cut a hog freeing so many of our ancestors .
[US]Pittsburgh Courier 8 Oct. 2: [headline] Did Herter ‘Cut A Hog’ on Kwame?
[US] in DARE.
[US](con. 1920s) G.M. Foster Pops Foster 101: If you cut a hog in a record in those days, you had to stop and start over on a whole new wax.
[US](con. 1930s) C.E. Lincoln The Avenue, Clayton City (1996) 17: If someone made an embarrassing faux pas, would he tell him that he had just ‘cut a hog’?
[US](con. 1910s) F.M. Davis Livin’ the Blues 45: You clowns shut up [...] Ev’ry time a bunch of us gits out in public, somebody’s gotta cut a hog.
[US]S. Henke Broken Vows 167: But you’ve gone and cut a hog in the ass now, boyo [...] He’s comin' to you right enough.
[US]W. Bagley Always a Cowboy 176: He thought Palmer had ‘cut a hog in the ass’ when he built the road.
cut a side (of beef) (v.)

see under beef n.1

cut a slice (off the joint) (v.)

see under slice n.

cut dirt (v.) [the way a horse’s hooves cut into the ground as it gallops at speed but note sense 2]

(US) to run away, to depart at speed.

[US]N.-Y. American 2 Mar. 2/4–5: When near the [police] office, [he] gave his keepers the slip, and as the saying is, ‘cut dirt,’ or [...] gave them leg-bail.
‘Negro Song,’ [i.e. ‘Coal Black Rose’] quoted in S. J. and C. 287: He jump up fo’ sartin – he cut dirt and run [...] [F&H].
[US]J.K. Paulding Westward Ho! I 127: Cut dirt, stranger, for your life; there’s a whirlwind coming.
[US]D. Crockett Exploits and Adventures (1934) 215: He cut dirt in beautiful style.
[US]Western Scenes n.p.: Now you cut dirt, and don’t let me see you here again for a coon’s age, you hear!
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker III 248: He is all sorts of a hoss, and the best live one that ever cut dirt this side of the big pond.
[US]T. Haliburton Sam Slick in England II 30: Well, the way she cut dirt was cautionary; she cleared stumps, ditches, windfalls and every thing.
[US]J.M. Field Drama in Pokerville 132: ‘Now cut dirt, d--n you!’ screamed I.
[US]Bartlett Dict. Americanisms 104: to cut dirt. To run; to go fast. A vulgar expression, probably derived from the quick motion of a horse or carriage over a country road, which makes the dirt fly.
[US]G.W. Harris ‘Playing Old Sledge for the President’ Nashville Union and American XXVIII Oct. in Inge (1967) 236: Seaward cut dirt as soon as that awful jack was turned.
[US]J.R. Lowell Biglow Papers 2nd series (1880) 44: Why two-thirds o’ the Rebbles ’ould cut dirt, / Ef they once thought thet Guv’ment meant to hurt.
Border Adventures 231: Now, I say, old hoss, if you don’t hurry up and cut dirt like streak-lightnin’, this child goes arter you, and you look out for a windin’ sheet, you hear? [F&H].
[US]Schele De Vere Americanisms 594: To cut dirt, for running away in haste, is evidently taken from the fondness of Americans for fast driving.
cut down

see separate entries.

cut every way but loose (v.) (also turn every way but loose)

1. (US) to assault comprehensively (sometimes with a bladed weapon).

[US]Van Vechten Nigger Heaven 247: A yellow girl [...] stood facing another woman seated with two men. Ah’ll turn yo’ damper down! she screamed. Ah’ll cut you every way but loose! the other retorted.
[US]C. Himes Blind Man with a Pistol (1971) 145: ‘She turned him every way but loose,’ one of the black boys said in awe. ‘Cut him two-way side and flat,’ the other corroborated.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 11: Políto say that spook kid like to bust him everyway but loose.
[US]W.D. Myers Mojo and the Russians 109: ‘[I]f I catch them little fools messin’ around [...] I’m gonna turn them every which way but loose, so help me’.
[US]Eve. Sun (Baltimore, MD) 6 Feb. 28/3: Bell boasted about his skill with the blade and crowed, ‘I cut him every way but loose’.
Atlanta Constitution (GA) 20 Feb. 5/2: ‘If that’s the man who attacked her, she cut him every way but loose’.

2. (US) to indulge with wide-ranging sex.

[US]J. Lansdale Leather Maiden 81: ‘You could stay, shack up for a few days [...] She’ll turn you every way but loose’.
cut for the simples (adj.)

see separate entry.

cut gravel (v.) [the image of a coach’s wheels spinning up gravel]

(US) to move very fast.

[US]W. Oliver Eight Months in Illinois 33: Look at him – see how he cuts gravel — whoop, halloo, &c.
cut ice (with) (v.)

see separate entry.

cut in/into

see separate entries.

cut in the back (adj.) (also cut in the eye, ...leg) [fig. use of SE]

very drunk.

[UK]Eighth Liberal Science n.p.: No man must call a Good-fellow Drunkard [...] But if at any time they spie that defect in another, they may without any forfeit or just exceptions taken, say, He is Foxt, He is Flaw’d, He is Fluster’d, He is Suttle, Cupshot, Cut in the Leg or Back, He hath seen the French King, He hath swallowed an Hair or a Taven-Token, he hath whipt the Cat, He hath been at the Scriveners and learned to make Indentures, He hath bit his Grannam, or is bit by a Barn Weasel.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Cut, Drunk; Deep Cut . . .Cut in the Leg or Back, very drunk.
[UK] ‘The Art of Drinking’ in Wit’s Cabinet 138: He is flaw’d, [...] cut in the Leg or Back.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]‘A Pembrochian’ Gradus ad Cantabrigiam 52: ‘He has cut his leg’ — periphrasis, He is drunk.
Quinland I 134: You are as balmy as a summer evening, as shiny as a new boot; you are sprung and cut in the eye; come, rouse yourself [DA].
cut loose (v.)

see separate entry.

cut on (v.)

(Can. prison) to sport a prison-made tattoo.

[Can]R. Caron Go-Boy! 36: The local tattoo artists did a landslide business [...] It’s a small miracle that I did not cut any on.
cut one (v.)

(US) to break wind.

[US]D. Jenkins Semi-Tough 9: ‘When she came out of the bathroom, I was gonna cut one that would jar the window shades, and then for the rest of our married life there wouldn’t be no trouble about me fartin’ around the house’.
cut one’s cable (v.) [naut. imagery]

1. to die.

[UK] ‘The Sailors Consolation’ in Jovial Songster 45: Life’s cable must one day or other be parted.
[US] ‘Spanking Jack’ in Champagne Charley Songster 54: [as cit. 1800].

2. (also cut one’s stick) to run away.

[US]W.H. Williams Wreck II ii: Cut your cables.
[UK]R. Barham ‘Lay of St. Cuthbert’ in Ingoldsby Legends (1842) 229: Cut your stick, sir – come, mizzle! – be off with you! – go!
[UK]C. Reade It Is Never Too Late to Mend III 129: So then he cut his stick!
[UK]‘Pot’ & ‘Swears’ Scarlet City 21: He had us both in his grip before we could cut our cables.
cut one’s eye (v.)

see under eye n.

cut one’s foot (v.) (US)

1. to step in excrement [euph.].

[US]Randolph & Wilson Down in the Holler 118: When a well-bred country boy is walking with his girl, and sees that she is about to step into some cow dung, he says, ‘Don’t cut your foot!’.

2. thus, to make a stupid blunder.

[US]J.R. Lowell Biglow Papers (1880) 112: Ef I’d expected sech a trick, I wouldn’t ha cut my foot / By goin’ and votin’ fer myself, like a consumed coot.
cut one’s last fling (v.) [SE cut a fling, to dance, implying dance v. (2)]

to be hanged.

[UK](con. 1737–9) W.H. Ainsworth Rookwood (1857) 177: And my father, as I’ve heard say [...] Was a merchant of capers gay / Who cut his last fling with great applause.
cut one’s own grass (v.)

to earn one’s own living.

[UK]J. Greenwood Little Ragamuffin 80: Hain’t he almost old enough to begin to think about cutting his own grass, Jim?
[UK]J. Greenwood Seven Curses of London 59: The poorer the family, the earlier the boys are turned out, ‘to cut their own grass,’ as the saying is.
[UK]Five Years’ Penal Servitude 242: ‘Cut her own grass! Good gracious, what is that,’ I asked. ‘Why, purvide her own chump — earn her own living,’ the old man replied.
cut out

see separate entries.

cut someone down (v.)

(orig. US black) to challenge, with the intention of proving one’s superiority, usu. in the context of verbal, dancing or musical competitions.

[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 231: All the contenders for the title [...] wanted to cut him down – that is, prove they were the best in the field.
[US]Hepster’s Dict. 2: Cut you down – Put somebody in place.
[US]G. Cuomo Among Thieves 216: It was to your benefit that someone like Penney tried to fag you early, as long as you could cut him down. The word got around, and people left you alone.
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 329: They cut her down without batting an eye.
cut (someone) in(to) (v.) (US)

1. to introduce someone to a scheme, supposedly advantageous.

[US]R. Lardner ‘Horseshoes’ in Coll. Short Stories (1941) 257: It’ll be pretty soft for you, because they got the pennant cinched and they’ll cut you in on the big money.
[US]R. Martin ‘Tea Party Frame-Up’ in Mammoth Detective May 🌐 Rowden came to me tonight and told me the whole setup, offered to cut me in.
[US](con. 1950) E. Frankel Band of Brothers 271: I’m gonna cut you in on all the hot poop.
[US]E. Bunker Animal Factory 51: So you want to cut me into the action, is that it?
[US]‘Master Pimp’ Pimp’s Rap 139: Sixth Street Blue had cut us in the porno business.

2. to meet someone.

[US]Conwell Professional Thief 236: Cut Into, v. – Make contact with, interfere with.
[US]C. Brown Manchild in Promised Land (1969) 246: He wasn’t drinking when I cut into him about six months before.
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 104: The best thing that happened to me that year was that I cut into Elisabeth Miller.

3. to introduce one person to another.

[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 94: I can’t cut you into him, Kid.
[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 234: I’m gonna cut you into this big redheaded stallion. She’s so fine.
cut someone out of (v.)

(US) to let go, to release someone.

[US]A.C. Gunter Miss Nobody of Nowhere 193: I’ve heard of you; the populace say you cut me out with Miss Tillie.
[US]Dundes & Schonhorn ‘Kansas University Sl.: A New Generation’ in AS XXXVIII:3 171: To get away from an unpleasant or undesirable person: cut out.
cut someone’s comb (v.)

to humiliate; to disgrace, to ‘bring down a peg’.

[Scot](con. early 17C) W. Scott Fortunes of Nigel I 53: I will take my own time; and all the Counts in Cumberland shall not cut my comb.
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker I 189: It cut their combs, that’s a fact.
[US]D. Crockett Exploits and Adventures (1934) 189: He told me [...] the fellow was going the big figure; and that he had exposed him to some ladies, which completely cut his comb, and he took wing.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
cut the cheese (v.) [the pronounced odour of certain cheeses]

to break wind; esp. in phr. who cut the cheese?

[US]Esquire 72 69/1: Who cut the cheese? The true clue: he who smelt it dealt it.
Lucas et al. Amer. Graffitti [film script] Hey, man, who cut the cheese?
[US]W. Safire What’s The Good Word? 87: ‘Cheese-eater’ [is] related to ‘cutting cheese’ as an expression for farting.
[US]S. King It (1987) 226: My friend you might as well ask me ‘Who cut the cheese?’ and have done with it.
[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus in Viz 87 Dec. n.p.: cut the cheese euph. To fart.
Online Sl. Dict. 🌐 cut the cheese v 1. to flatulate. (‘Nasty! Did you cut the cheese again?!’).
[US]Lee & Van Dijk [title] Winchell Cuts the Cheese.
cut the dust (v.)

(US) to have an alcoholic drink, esp. after a period of abstaining or deprivation.

L. Block Stab in the Dark 82: ‘[I]t’s been a long day and a dry one. How about a little something to cut the dust?’.
cut the fool (v.)

(US black) to act the fool, esp. when dealing with white people, to play tricks.

[US]Z.N. Hurston Seraph on the Suwanee (1995) 866: Oh, the fool is stuck on you, Mrs Meserve. Sweet on you and cutting the fool.
[US]O. Davis Purlie Victorious in Black Drama I i: Quit cutting the fool in front of company.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 2: cutting the fool – playing around.
[US]D. Barker Life in Jazz 35: I would see small boys dancing and cutting the fool for tourists, who would throw them coins.
cut the mustard (v.)

see separate entry.

cut the painter (v.)

see separate entry.

cut the rug (v.)

see separate entry.

cut the wind (n.)

a glass of spirits.

[Scot]Dundee Courier 14 Jan. 7/3: ‘Juist gie’s a glass o’ yer strongest “cut the wind” an’ nae mair havery aboot it’.
cut up

see separate entries.

how’s she cutting? [‘she’ being some form of agricultural implement]

(Irish) a general phr. of greeting.

[Ire]Magill June n.p.: The driver, a man with a cheery grin, hopped out and ran over to Joey. ‘How’s she cuttin’, chief?’ Joey gestured helplessly [BS].
[Ire]J. O’Connor Salesman 146: Nap would come trundling into the lane, peer out of his van [...] and call, ‘How’s she cuttin’ Larry, I’ve no news yet on yer friend’.