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  1. #1
    Elizabeth
    Guest

    "cut to the chase"

    Does anyone know if this expression would have been in use in the UK in the 1940s: "cut to the case"?

    I have looked in Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable with no joy.

    Thank you



  2. #2
    Lisa Werth
    Guest

    Re: "cut to the chase"

    I don't think "cut to the case was used." Not even in a murder/mystery.

    If I remember right from a dance class, cut to the chase comes from the Cha Cha.

  3. #3
    Elizabeth
    Guest

    Re: "cut to the chase"

    Thanks Lisa

    I have found out that it used literally to mean cutting to the film chase scene from another scene and was only used figuratively from the 1980s onwards, so like you say, it's anachronistic for the 1940s. Just as well I checked.

  4. #4
    mike fulton
    Guest

    Re: "cut to the chase"

    Actually, Louis B. Mayer was fond of interrupting long-winded people with the phrase. Mayer was born in the mid 1880's and died in the late fifties. He produced "Birth of the Nation" in (I think) 1918, so it's probably a safe bet that the phrase would have been trite by the 1940's. I remember a Bogart movie in which Bogart says, "Stop wasting my time, sister. Cut to the chase."

    Which source indicates a common usage in the 1980's? I remember having an Irish nun in the mid-sixties who used that phrase a few times. I thought she was saying "Cut to the chaste." Coming from a nun, the phrase conjured all kinds of gruesome images.

  5. #5
    Elizabeth
    Guest

    Re: "cut to the chase"

    Oh, that's interesting Mike. It was just an aol Q&A site so perhaps not the most reliable. I love your nun story!

  6. #6
    Lindi
    Guest

    Re: "cut to the chase"

    I always assumed it meant get to the chase scene as in a movie, get to the important part.

  7. #7
    Glen T. Brock
    Guest

    Re: "cut to the chase"

    Elizabeth,

    I think if you check a site about fox hunting you will find the exression used there. In any case 'cut to the chase' was in common usage in the 1940s and probably before that.

    Glen T. Brock

  8. #8
    Elizabeth
    Guest

    Re: "cut to the chase"

    Thank you.

  9. #9
    mike fulton
    Guest

    Re: "cut to the chase"

    I think I began losing my hearing in grammar school. Not only did I think that nun was saying "cut to the chaste." I messed up on my Act of Contrition.

    In the parish where I went to school, we had to say the Act of Contrition in the confessional as the priest gave absolution. For years, I started the prayer with "Oh my God, I am PARTLY sorry for having offended Thee..." I said it that way for most of third and fourth grade.

    One day in the cafeteria, I noticed the pastor and a nun making the rounds of the lunch tables. I thought they were trying to recruit a cleanup crew.

    Sister Mary Incarnata sat beside me and asked to hear me say the Act of Contrition. I got six words into the prayer, and the nun yelled across the cafeteria to the pastor, "Father Harrell, I found him!"

    I was mortified when it was explained what I was saying wrong.

    Heck, that's how I learned it from my older brother. Back then there were two people I didn't question: God and my older brother.

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