Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cut v.4

1. to ignore a task, rule or obligation, e.g. homework or a college curfew.

[UK]Gent.’s Mag. 1085: I was told of men who [...] cut chapel, cut gates, cut lectures, cut hall, cut examinations, cut particular connections.
[UK]‘A Pembrochian’ Gradus ad Cantabrigiam 50: to cut gates; to enter College after 10 o’Clock — the hour of shutting them [...] to cut chapel; to be absent.
[UK]G. Colman Yngr ‘Two Parsons’ in Poetical Vagaries 125: The Squire for neighbours had a dread, And always ‘cut the natives,’ as he said.
[UK]C.M. Westmacott Eng. Spy I 365: Having cut college for a bolt to the village.
Oration before H.L. of I.O. of O.F. in Hall (1856) 146: Prepare to cut recitations, cut prayers, cut lectures, — ay, to cut even the President himself.
[US]B.H. Hall College Words (rev. edn) 146: cut. To be absent from; to neglect. Thus a person is said to ‘cut prayers,’ to ‘cut lecture,’ &c.
[US]L.H. Bagg Four Years at Yale 44: Cut, to absent one’s self from a college exercise.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Little Mr. Bouncer 13: What! cut Chapel and posted an Æger, for the second time in one week [...] you’re coming it strong.
[UK]E.J. Milliken Childe Chappie’s Pilgrimage 32: He had not ‘cut’ athletics, / though long days / Of dawdling had not strengthened pull or thrust / Of scull or punt-pole.
[US]J.L. Williams Princeton Stories 39: Others dissipate merely to the extent of cutting chapel twice in succession or pretending that they have not poled all night for an examination.
[US]N.Y. Eve. Mail 12 Dec. in Fleming Unforgettable Season (1981) 29: Pittsburgh [...] agreed to let him cut the Spring training trip.
[UK]A. Lunn Harrovians 126: Gall had cut his Latin prose.
[US]F.S. Fitzgerald This Side of Paradise in Bodley Head Scott Fitzgerald III (1960) 80: I can only cut six more classes.
[US]Thurman & Rapp Harlem in Coll. Writings (2003) 329: I cut class tonight so I could help finish things up for the party.
[US]J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye (1958) 193: I didn’t cut any classes. You weren’t allowed to cut any. There were a couple of them I didn’t attend once in a while.
[US]G. Swarthout Where the Boys Are 151: We’re always being warned about cutting because it costs the U five dollars for each class hour for each student.
[US](con. late 1940s) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 458: I can’t cut art!
[US] W. Safire What’s The Good Word? 302: ‘Cutting’ is practically never used any more [...] The new terminology is ‘bucking.’.
[US]L. Pettiway Workin’ It 114: We used to cut classes then.

2. to stop doing something; thus cut that, be quiet, stop that.

[UK]‘Peter Corcoran’ ‘King Tims the First’ in Fancy 22: Trader no more; he banishe’d pall, and urn, / And nail, and glove, and cut the whole concern.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 2 Oct. 2/1: ‘Cut that, will you?’ shouted a diggor who had watched Forky’s advances with a jealous eye.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 28: CUT [...] to cease doing anything [...] cut that, be quiet, or stop.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor II 85/2: So I takes a varnin by poor Jack, and cuts the lush.
[UK]Wild Boys of London I 77/2: Cut your damned flash palaver and hand out the coin.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Mar. 17/2: He hurried home, and in an earnest tone, / Spoke this wise soberly unto his mother – / ‘Look here, old party, it’s all up! I’m done; / I’ve had a blazin’ roughish sort of life, / I’ve never bought you anything but sorrow, / But that’s enough, I’ve cut it like a knife, / I’ve joined the soldiers, and I start tomorrow.’.
[UK] ‘’Arry on Equality’ in Punch 22 Feb. 85/2: Cut this Sosherlist cant, or you’ll choke.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 81: She might as well cut that smile. I don’t fall for that old gag.
[US]E. O’Neill The Web in Ten ‘Lost’ Plays (1995) 58: There, there, Kid, cut the cryin’.
[US]M.E. Smith Adventures of a Boomer Op. 59: This ‘Boomin’’ around don’t pay, Hi [...] and your Unk Bill is going to cut it cold.
[US]F.C. Painton ‘The Devil Must Pay’ in Goodstone Pulps (1970) 21/1: ‘You see,’ he chuckled, ‘now I’m God.’ ‘Cut that,’ I growled.
[US]I. Shulman Amboy Dukes 144: Give me the bottle and let’s cut the talk.
[US]R. Chandler Playback 122: Cut the doodads.
[UK]R. Rendell Best Man To Die (1981) 116: Cut the sob stuff.
[US]Fantastic Four Annual 5: Both of you – cut the chatter!
[UK]A-Team Storybook 21: ‘You can cut the jazz, Hannibal,’ said B.A.
[UK]K. Lette Mad Cows 18: If you’d just cut the bollocks, come across and give us some names, we could do a deal.
[Ire]F. Mac Anna Cartoon City 92: You’ll have to cut the blow lads or I’ll ask you to leave.

3. to resign from; to leave a job.

[UK]G.J. Whyte-Melville Digby Grand (1890) 223: I wonder you don’t make up to some woman with money, cut the Guards, and have a house in London, with a hunting-box down here.
[UK]H. Kingsley Recollections of G. Hamlyn (1891) 258: I have got three years’ leave of absence from my regiment in India, and, if I can see a chance, I shall cut the army and settle here.

4. to absent oneself without good reason.

[UK]R. Barham ‘Brothers of Birchington’ Ingoldsby Legends (1847) 260: Father Dick, who, as soon / Would ‘knock in’ or ‘cut chapel’ as jump oe’r the moon.
[UK]H. Hayman Pawnbroker’s Daughter 161: ‘What do you get a-week?’ said the curate. [...] ‘A joey-bit,’ said the boy, ‘when I works; an’ when I cuts away, a jolly good hidin’.’.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) II 197: This’ll never do, you know. Gig-lamps! Cutting chapel to do the downy!
[UK]T. Hughes Tom Brown at Oxford (1880) 51: I can’t cut my two lectures.
[US]‘A High Private’ Man who was not a Colonel 135: You can cut the whole thing, — wash your hands of it.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 13 Apr. 438: This [...] will not trouble you much, unless you persistently cut (i.e. do not go when it is your turn).
[UK]Gem 16 Dec. 12: Look here, Monty Lowthah, what are you cuttin’ the House match for?
[UK]‘J.H. Ross’ Mint (1955) 52: Tea-time, and I cut it, luxuriously making the trumpet sound after me in vain.
[UK]A. Huxley Brave New World (1955) 63: I’ve been cutting all my committees.
[US]I. Shulman Amboy Dukes 72: If we were working we wouldn’t’a been cuttin’ classes.
[US]Murtagh & Harris Cast the First Stone 50: We cut school and went to the pawnshop Artie knew.
[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 190: Sometimes we’d cut a class or two.
[US]Cab Calloway Of Minnie the Moocher and Me 7: The great times we had cutting school.
[US]J. Wambaugh Secrets of Harry Bright (1986) 127: The boy started cutting classes and doing pot and hash and ludes with the other surfers.
[UK]J. Mowry Way Past Cool 211: I told Coach you was in the fuckin nurse’s office when you went an cut PE!
[UK]Guardian Rev. 15 Jan. 1: I’d started cutting classes and telling them ‘fuck you’.

5. to switch off.

[US]J.M. Cain Postman Always Rings Twice (1985) 24: Her arms were round me before I even cut the lights.
[US]R. Chandler ‘Pearls Are a Nuisance’ in Spanish Blood (1946) 126: Park there, cut your lights, and wait.
[US]R. Chandler Long Good-Bye 169: I cut all the lights except in one standing lamp and crossed to the study.
[US]H. Rap Brown Die Nigger Die! 33: My ol’ man used to come home, cut the set off and just walk straight on through. And we’d all be sitting on the floor digging this and we knew better than to get up and turn the muthafucka back on.
[US]V.E. Smith Jones Men 30: He cut the lights and they waited in the darkness.
[US](con. 1940s) P. Cumper One Bright Child 48: Cut the engines. Tell the Chief Steward we’re going to have to run in silence.
[Ire]F. Mac Anna Cartoon City 7: He pulled up alongside a pair of large doors covered in graffiti. Then he cut the engine.

6. to switch (on).

[US]J. Hersey Algiers Motel Incident 243: It’s getting hot in here. Why don’t you cut the air conditioner on?

In phrases

cut it (v.)

see separate entry .

cut the... (v.)

see also under relevant n.

cut the crap (v.)

see separate entry .