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#1 2012-09-22 04:59:32

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 619

"cut to the quick" and "cut to the chase"

The other day I heard an interviewer on the radio say something like this to his interviewee: “We only have a minute left, so you’re gonna have to cut to the quick”. This substitution for “cut to the chase” makes sense because, even though “quick” sounds nothing like “chase”, the idea of quickness in the sense of speed obviously fits the sense of “cut to the chase”. A Google search yielded at least 200 unique hits that had this meaning, for instance:

Yeah they are crazy long and cumbersome to read, but let’s cut to the quick.

Let’s cut to the quick; Graham Harrell is a lightning rod this preseason.

Because, and let’s cut to the quick, Carmelo Anthony never ever would’ve made that remark about a black NBA player’s contract…

To investigate whether the substitution happens in the other direction, I googled “cut me to the chase” and got around three dozen unique hits, but few of them had the sense of “cut me to the quick”. Instead, most of them meant the same as “beat me to the punch”, as in:

I was going to, but you cut me to the chase, I suppose.

You cut me to the chase! I was thinking the exact same thing!

I have actually been meaning to write a post about the disturbing preponderance of mullets in Russia for a while now, but it seems that an actual journalist cut me to the chase and wrote surprisingly well-researched inquiry into the mullet phenomenon.

It’s a mystery to me how this phrase went through such a meaning mutation.

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#2 2012-09-22 14:17:20

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1166

Re: "cut to the quick" and "cut to the chase"

Yummy blends. I wonder whether “cut me off (at the pass)” is blended into the second. Is a three-way blend possible? Beat me to the punch is the invisible framework, viz. _ me to the __, into which cut me off and cut to the chase are patched.

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#3 2012-09-22 20:40:07

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 619

Re: "cut to the quick" and "cut to the chase"

David Bird wrote:

I wonder whether “cut me off (at the pass)” is blended into the second.

Yeah, I’ll bet that’s the link, however unconscious, that gets people to the “beat me to the punch” meaning. Good analysis as usual, Bird-man.

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#4 2012-09-26 22:18:25

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1166

Re: "cut to the quick" and "cut to the chase"

“Cut me to the chase”, said Tom quickly.

Gotta love Dan Savage who cuts just a little deeper than the chase to the quick.
http://starsandmoon145.wordpress.com/2007/06/page/2/

I want to be direct. I want to say why I write and what I write for, and out of, in as clear a way as possible-to cut to the chase to the quick, to get to the heart of it.
http://norpud.tripod.com/jalankecil.htm

Darn, I was just about to post that one, you beat me to the quick.
http://www.japantoday.com/smartphone/vi … convention

I was going to post a video like this… but you beat me to the cut
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nzh8KE3ggY

Here are three cut-throat, quick-to-the-chase, cost/benefit type reasons.
http://www.vertabase.com/project-manage … e-buy.html

Cutthroat adds a nice new ingredient. How about throwing in the viscera?

Taking the series in a whole new direction, NFS Prostreet will let gamers indulge in gut-throat competition against the best street racers in a multitude of racing showdowns.
http://beupdated.blogspot.ca/2007/08/ne … -2008.html

we now know nothing can convict a heart more than a picture. Pictures say a thousand words and the ones we are now seeing on television gut to the quick.
http://okaylistenhere.blogspot.ca/2011/ … ppear.html

Every. Fucking. Week. “Friday Night Lights” manages to gut me to the quick.
https://twitter.com/pajiba/status/6671950269

It was a long introduction. :d No i’ll gut to the chase, and ask: have you found the AA?
Argus Apocraphex apparently and not Alcoholics Anonymous

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#5 2012-09-27 06:10:38

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 619

Re: "cut to the quick" and "cut to the chase"

Wow, David, it seems like people are having a free-for-all with the words cut, gut, quick, chase, and beat! It’s hard to imagine the “logic” behind some of your examples, though I’d guess “gut-throat competition” may be related to having one’s “heart in [one’s] throat” due to stress or suspense, or perhaps the image is of both the gut and throat being cut. Some of the uses of “gut” also remind me of the British slang term “gutted”, which means something like “emotionally devastated”, so there could be a connection there. How do you find all these cool examples?

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#6 2012-09-27 07:31:40

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 619

Re: "cut to the quick" and "cut to the chase"

BTW, I notice that “cut to the cheese” is in our Eggcorn Database.

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