NAUTICAL SAYINGS-CUT AND RUN
Wednesday February 11th, 2009
CUT AND RUN – NO LEGS INVOLVED
As so many of these nuggets of trivia that Harbour Guides bring you, the phrase ‘Cut and Run’ is often thought to have some relationship to the escape of livestock, working animals or even prisoners. In so much, people wrongly interpret it as meaning the cutting or snapping of some kind of tether or restraining device that allows the animal or prisoner to leg it quickly.
In fact it is a phrase that refers to ships necessitating a hasty exit or retreat from some kind of ocean hotbed. Be it overpowering odds during attack, a visit by marauding pirates or a fast approaching storm. In circumstances such as these the captain would have no alternative but to order the anchor cable to be cut to enable a hasty getaway. Later uses include the cutting of ropes around furled sails for much the same purpose.