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half cut

Post by Archived Topic » Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:27 am

DCan anyone help with the origin of the phrase 'half cut' to describe being drunk? And if you're really drunk, can you be 'cut' or 'full cut'?

Thanks
Rona,
London
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half cut

Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:41 am

Rona, Being CUT does mean being fully drunk and HALF CUT does mean half so.
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Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang

CUT adjective [18th century and still in use] drunk [abbreviation for CUT IN THE LEG, a facetious euphemism for being staggering drunk]

CUT IN THE LEG phrase [late 17th century to late 18th century] 1.very drunk 2. pregnant [[!!! hmm]] (cf. ‘cut in the back’)

CUT IN THE BACK phrase [mid-17th to mid-19th century] 1. very drunk 2. pregnant (cf. ‘cut n the leg), [‘cut’ adj.]

HALF CUT adjective 1. [late 19th century and still in use] (Australian) foolish, silly 2. [20th century] more than mildly drunk but not yet incapable (cf. ‘HALF-COCKED adj.; HALF-HIGH). [Standard English ‘half’ + CUT adj.]

HALF-COCKED adjective [20th century] mildly drunk (cf. ‘cocked’; ‘half-cut’ adj.; ‘half-gone’; ‘half-shot’ adj.; half-slewed) [[note plus the usual but unrelated meaning as in ‘go off half-cocked’]]

COCKED adjective[20th century] (U.S.) drunk (cf. ‘half-cocked’ adj.). [Standard English ‘cock,’ to pull back the hammer of a gun]
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Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, Colorado – U.S.A.
7/7/02

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half cut

Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:56 am

Thanks ken, very interesting!
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