Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Cut It Out

Posted by Elyse Bruce on June 3, 2010

The phrase “cut it out” is found in the notes of the New Zealand Parliament House of Representatives debates of 1898.  One amusing entry is a comment made by Mr. Monk who states: “Cut it out!  The right honourable gentleman has cut it out. He has been cutting it out for the last six or seven years, and he cut it out by taking away £16000 of the money voted for it in 1898. There has been nothing but cutting out. Now, I am speaking with no desire to make mere assertion against the Government. I am only expostulating, as it is my duty to do and I should do just the same if it were the case of any other district in the colony, as I am now.”

Originally, the phrase “cut it out” was taken literally insofar as if there was a physical ailment that required surgery, the surgeon would “cut out” what needed to be removed.  Likewise in military terms, if a commander wanted to defeat his opponent, he would “cut out” stronger elements of his opponent’s command, isolating them and defeating them.  Regardless of the situation, if one “cut it out” is was nearly certain meant that there was a greater chance of stopping any advancement than if one did not “cut it out.”

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