- skip - Brewer’s



Cut and come again. Take a cut from the joint, and come for another if you like.

To cut the ground from under one (or from under his feet). To leave an adversary no ground to stand on, by disproving all his arguments.

He has cut his eye-teeth. He is wide awake, he is a knowing one. The eye-teeth are the canine teeth, just under the eyes, and the phrase means he can bite as well as bark. Of course, the play is on the wordeye,” and those who have cut their eye-teeth are wide awake.

Cut your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are those at the extreme end of the jaws, which do not make their appearance till persons have come to years of discretion. When persons say or do silly things, the remark is made to them that “they have not yet cut their wisdom teeth,” or reached the years of discretion.

Cut the knot. Break through an obstacle. The reference is to the Gordian knot (q.v.) shown to Alexander, with the assurance that whoever loosed it would be made ruler of all Asia; whereupon the Macedonian cut it in two with his sword, and claimed to have fulfilled the prophecy.

I must cut my sticki.e. leave. The Irish usually cut a shillelah before they start on an expedition. Punch gives the following witty derivation:—“Pilgrims on leaving the Holy Land used to cut a palm-stick, to prove that they had really been to the Holy Sepulchre. So brother Francis would say to brother Paul, ‘Where is brother Benedict?ʹ ‘Oh (says Paul), he has cut his stick!ʹ—i.e. he is on his way home.”

Iʹll cut your comb for you. Take your conceit down. The allusion is to the practice of cutting the combs of capons.

Heʹll cut up well. He is rich, and his property will cut into good slices.

previous entry · index · next entry


Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

previous entry · index · next entry

Curule Chair
Curzon Street (London)
Custard Coffin
Custos Rotulorum (keeper of the rolls)
Cut Blocks with a Razor (To)
Cut neither Nails nor Hair at Sea
Cut Off with a Shilling
Cut out
Cut your Coat according to your Cloth
Cut a Dash
Cut and Dry
Cut and Run
Cut Away
Cut Capers (To)