Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cut n.

1. [17C; late 19C+] a share: of profits, of loot, of the proceeds of a robbery etc.

2. [late 18C] a whore.

3. [late 18C+] an act of ignoring a friend or acquaintance both deliberately and pointedly.

4. [19C+] the female genitals, the vagina.

5. [mid-19C+] (US) an insult.

6. [mid-19C+] (US campus) the act of absenting oneself from a class.

7. [mid-19C+] (US campus) the failure of a class to meet.

8. [late 19C+] a go, an attempt; always as have a cut (at)

9. [20C+] (Aus./US/UK) a swing with the fist; thus take a cut at v., to menace or hit with the fist.

10. uses pertaining to dilution or adulteration.

(a) [1930s] the dilution of alcohol.

(b) [1950s+] (drugs) an act of diluting a pure drug, usu. heroin or cocaine; thus two-cut, dilution with the same amount of an adulterant.

(c) [1980s] an adulterant.

(d) [1990s+] a drug that has been thus diluted (the implication is not necessarily of inferiority: narcotics are rarely sold 100% pure).

11. [1950s+] (orig. US sporting) a pre-arranged point at which a group of competitors or recruits to a team are reduced by those who fail to achieve a given standard.

12. uses based on being ‘cut out’ from the surrounding area.

(a) [1950s–60s] (US black) a place or area where young people meet, e.g. a street corner, a drugstore, a house.

(b) [2000s] (US prison) the area immediately surrounding an inmate’s bunk.

13. [1940s+] (US) a record.

14. [1990s+] a recently received haircut.

15. see cut-up n.1

In compounds

cut buddy (n.) [buddy n. (2)]

1. [1960s] (US black) a close friend.

2. [1990s+] (US drugs) in pl., two or more drug dealers who combine to adulterate a supply of drugs prior to retailing it.

cut house (n.)

[2000s] (US drugs) anywhere that pure drugs are adulterated and packaged prior to street sale.

cut man (n.)

[2000s] (US drugs) one who mixes a pure drug with ‘cut’ to adulterate it prior to offering it for street sale.

In phrases

have a cut (at) (v.)

[late 19C+] (Aus.) to try, to make an attempt, to have a go.

have one’s cut (v.)

[late 19C+] of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

in the cut

1. [1960s+] (US black, also in the cuts) in a location or neighbourhood that is faraway, hidden or removed for some reason; thus lay (back) in the cut under lay back v.

2. [1990s+] (US black) present, in place, on hand.

3. [2000s] in prison.

4. in hiding.

make the cut (v.) [golf jargon make the cut, to score sufficiently well in a preliminary round to proceed to the later stages of a competition; those that fail to make a set figure (the cut) are eliminated]

[1990s+] to succeed.