Cut one's name

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 20 17:26:08 UTC 2012

Here is an instance of "cut his name deep in our history" dated 1903
internally together with some other raw matches in GB. I like Dan's
1900 literal or quasi-literal citation.

Cite: 1904, The Works of Alexander Hamilton in Twelve Volumes: Federal
Edition, Edited by Henry Cabot Lodge, Volume 1, Preface to Second
Edition by H. C. Lodge [dated July 8, 1903], Quote Page vi,  G. P.
Putnam's Sons, New York. (Google Books full view)

[Begin excerpt]
Hamilton was a thinker as well as an actor. He did many great deeds.
He cut his name deep in our history. His influence is felt to-day, as
it always has been, in our government and our policies.
[End excerpt]

Below is some data from  raw unverified matches in Google Books.
(Dates may be inaccurate etcetera.):

The Technical world: Volume 1
Page 198
Day after day a stream of people passed the lad, though none of them
dreamed that this urchin, selling apples at three for five cents,
would in time cut his name deeper in the history of St. Louis than any
other man of his generation.

Transactions of the Section on Nervous and Mental Diseases of the ...
Page 28
American Medical Association. Section on Nervous and Mental Diseases
Dr. Charles L. Dana is the one man familiar to us who, in charge of a
large general hospital service, has cut his name deep into neurologic

The theosophist: Volume 33
Theosophical Society (Madras, India)
And this is noticeable: that if there is a general who has cut his
name deeply in the history of his time, cut it in letters that gleam
out blood-red and dazzle the minds of the nations, such a name
disappears, such a fame vanishes, while These remain.

On Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 12:03 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Cut one's name
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I've seen the more transparent "chiseled [one's] name [into history]" or
> similar. This doesn't strike me as being particularly odd (or a mixed
> metaphor).
>     VS-)
> On 6/20/2012 11:27 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>> I don't think it's a (mixed metaphor? blend?).  Rather, "to inscribe
>> permanently or deeply, as on a monument or honor roll."
>> It tales a while to search "cut, v."in the OED.  Some possible
>> ancestral relatives:
>> 16.b. To come across, strike, hit upon (a path, etc.). esp. U.S. with trail.
>> VI. To shape, fashion, form, or make by cutting.
>>    23.a. To make or form by cutting (e.g. a statue, engraving, seal,
>> jewel, etc.), to sculpture or carve (a statue or image), to engrave
>> (a plate, seal, etc.), to fashion (a stone or jewel), to shape
>> (garments, utensils, etc.).
>> Or perhaps another ancestral relative?
>> 25. To perform or execute (an action, gesture, or display of a
>> grotesque, striking, or notable kind): chiefly in certain established
>> phrases, as to cut a caper [etc.].
>> Joel
>> At 6/20/2012 08:32 AM, Stephen Goranson wrote:
>>> Cut one's teeth plus made one's name?
>>> Stephen
>>> ________________________________________
>>> From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of
>>> Dave Wilton [dave at WILTON.NET]
>>> Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 7:54 AM
>>> Subject: [ADS-L] Cut one's name
>>> Saw an odd phrase this morning on OUP's blog, which I guess makes it British
>>> but probably still of interest to the list. "Cut one's name" meaning "built
>>> one's reputation." I've never seen, or at least noticed, this construction
>>> before. A quick Google search turns up nothing but literal references to
>>> carving one's name in trees or other objects. (Although other examples may
>>> be buried in there somewhere.)
>>> "This is the context in which Alan Turing cut his name as a cryptographer
>>> during the Second World War."
>>> --Dave Wilton
>>>    dave at
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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