Cut to the Chase - Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you listening to someone talk about a certain topic without making a point? Don't you wish they would “cut to the chase?” This idiom is useful to stop someone from wasting your time if they're telling you a story or something that happened in their life.

This post looks at the idiom "cut to the chase." We'll unpack the meaning of the idiom, how to use it, and its origins.

Cut to the Chase Meaning

To "cut to the chase" means that you want someone to make their point. If you're in a conversation where the person uses a long introduction, or they are asking you for a favor, you can tell them to "Cut to the chase."

To cut to the chase means to come to a point or leave out the unnecessary details. They can leave out the minor details and get to the important facts. Many people use this idiom today in social and formal settings, and it's a popular phrase in business scenarios where people want the presenter to make their point.

Cut to the Chase Example Usage

When you're using "cut to the chase," you'll be interrupting someone as they talk, or you could be asking them to make their final statement. Some examples of how to use "cut to the chase" in a sentence are the following.

  • We don't have time for this right now. Can you cut to the chase?
  • I understand the repairs are going to cost a lot. Can you cut to the chase and give me a quote for the repair?
  • Let's leave out the handshakes and storytelling and just cut to the chase.
  • I saw my boss was busy with paperwork, so I decided to cut to the chase and ask him for a raise.
  • I'll cut to the chase and just tell you that your motorcycle repair is going to cost you $800.

Cut to the Chase Origin

"Cut to the chase" is a relatively modern idiom. Research shows it comes from the Hollywood movie scene, with its first use in the 1940s.

During the era of silent films, the storyline would come to a climax in a chase sequence. So, "cut to the chase" would refer to skipping the boring setup of the film to get to the exciting part capturing the audience's attention.

Phrases Similar to Cut to the Chase

"Cut to the chase" has a few similar idioms with the same meaning. Here are a few examples.

  • Get on with it.
  • Get to the core of the matter.
  • Get to the point.
  • I don't have all day here.
  • Get to the heart of the matter.
  • Stop wasting my time.
  • Let's get to the nitty-gritty of the matter.
  • Stop jumping around.

Phrases Opposite to Cut to the Chase

Idioms with an opposite meaning to "cut to the chase" would be the following.

  • Throw the baby out with the bathwater.
  • To give chase.
  • To waffle on.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Cutting to the chase.
  • Cut to the chase.
  • Cut the chasing.

Ways People May Say Cut to the Chase Incorrectly

Some people may use the phrase incorrectly. To "cut to the chase" means to get someone to stop wasting time and make their point. People may use it when they're feeling frustrated at someone who is skirting around a topic. The idiom doesn't refer to the act of chasing someone down.

  • The police officer cut to the chase and arrested the suspect.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Cut to the Chase

  • I'll cut to the chase.
  • Let's cut to the chase.
  • We'll cut to the chase.

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