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

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Aug 6 14:47:13 UTC 2012

There's also the verb (and noun) "cut up" (to act in a silly or uninhibited

Also "cutting didoes".


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

> 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
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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