Cut neither Nails nor Hair at Sea to Cyclopean Masonry
Cut neither Nails nor Hair at Sea Petronius says, "Non licere cuiquam mortalium in nave neque ungues neque capillos deponere, nisi cum pelago ventus irascitur." The cuttings of the nails and hair were votive offerings to Proserpine, and it would excite the jealousy of Neptune to make offerings to another in his own special kingdom.
Cut Off with a Shilling Disinherited. Blackstone tells us that the Romans set aside those testaments which passed by the natural heirs unnoticed; but if any legacy was left, no matter how small, it proved the testator's intention. English law has no such provision, but the notion at one time prevailed that the name of the heir should appear in the will; and if he was bequeathed "a shilling," that the testator had not forgotten him, but disinherited him intentionally.
Cut out Left in the lurch; superseded. In cards, when there are too many for a game (say whist), it is
customary for the players to cut out after a [rubber], in order that another player may have a turn. This
is done by the players cutting the cards on the table, and the lowest turn-up gives place to the new hand,
who "supersedes" him, or takes his place.
Cut your Coat according to your Cloth Stretch your arm no farther than your sleeve will reach.
"Little barks must keep near shore,French: "Selon ta bourse nourris ta bouche." "Selon le pain il faut le couteau." "Fou est, qui plus dèpense que sa rente ne vaut."
Italian: "Noi facciamo la spese secondo l'entrata."
Latin: "Ex quovis ligno non fit Mercurius." "Parvum parva decent" (Horace). "Messe tenus propria vive" (Persius). "Cui multum est piperis, etiam oleribus immiscet." "Sumptus censum ne superat" (Plautus). "Si non possis quod velis, velis id quod possis." "Ne te quæiveris extra" (Horace).
Cut a Dash Make a show. Cut is the French couper, better seen in the noun coup, as a grand coup, a coup de maltre (a masterly stroke), so "to cut" means to make a masterly coup, to do something to be looked at and talked about. Dashing means striking - i.e. showy, as a "dashing fellow," a "dashing equipage." To cut a dash is to get one's self looked at and talked about for a showy or striking appearance.
Cut and Dry Already prepared. "He had a speech all cut and dry." The allusion is to timber cut, dry, and
fit for use.
"Sets of phrases, cut and dry,Cut and Run Be off as quickly as possible. A sea phrase, meaning cut your cable and run before the wind.
Cut Away Be off at once. This is a French phrase, couper (cut away) - i.e. to break through the enemy's ranks by cutting them down with your swords.
Cut Capers (To). To act in an unusual manner.
"The quietest fellows are forced to fight for their status quo, and sometimes to cut capers like the rest." - LeFanu: The House in the Churchyard, p. 143.To cut capers (in dancing) is to spring upwards, and rapidly interlace one foot with the other.
Cut your capers! Be off with you!
I'll make him cut his capers, i.e. rue his conduct.
Cut of his Jib The contour or expression of his face. This is a sailor's phrase. The cut of a jib or foresail of a ship indicates her character. Thus, a sailor says of a suspicious vessel, he "does not like the cut of her jib."
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