Sailor Speak of the Week – Cut and Run

Definition

Verb

  • To get underway in a hurry.

Origin

Probably the 17th century.

Comments

Nowadays, the phrase has entered common usage and is generally used to denote a cowardly retreat. However, the phrase originally had the literal meaning of cutting the anchor cables or the gaskets to make sail and get the vessel underway quickly.

References

Rogers, J.G. (1985). Origins of Sea Terms. Mystic, CT: Mystic Seaport Museum.

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