"_Cut_ the fool" and "_cut_ the slave" (not really interesting)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 5 23:26:03 UTC 2012

My feeling is that _cut_ is pretty much the same in both cases. It's like
"act."  But I could be persuaded otherwise.    (I'm familiar with "cut the
fool" from reading, and I'm doubtful concerning the part that says,
"esp...White people...tricks.")

Cf. "cutting up."

And how 'bout them Chocolate Drops? You know, the blues only got started
about 125 years back.


On Sun, Aug 5, 2012 at 7:00 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      "_Cut_ the fool" and "_cut_ the slave" (not really
> interesting)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> books.google.com
> Cassell's dictionary of slang - Page 375
> Jonathon Green - 2005 - 1565 pages - Preview
> (1)] _cut the fool_ v. [1930's-'60's] (US Black) to act the fool, esp.
> when dealing with White people, to play tricks.
> Last night, I was listening to a "genuine Negro jig" by the Carolina
> Chocolate Drops, when I heard - for the first time, surprisingly - the
> phrase,
> "_cut_ the fool."
> I'm familiar only with the standard, "_play_ the fool."
> This immediately reminded me of StL BE jargon,
> "_cut_ the slave" = "work for wages," etc.
> At the time that this latter was discussed here, a few years ago,
> there was a problem WRT how to analyse _cut_.  So, how about analyzing
> _cut_ in "cut the slave" as being the same _cut_ as in "cut the fool"?
> If course, that still leaves the problem as to what the semantics of
> that _cut_ is, in the first place,
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
> to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
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