What is the Meaning of the Expression
CUT TO THE CHASE?
What does it mean, in an English conversation, when one person says to the other, “Cut to the chase.”?
for those learning to speak English as a Second, or Additional, Language (ESL or EAL)
Cut to the chase means stop giving so much detail and tell me directly what you want to say. Tell me only the important information.
Other ways of saying cut to the chase:
– get to the point
– come to the point
– get on with it
– enough small talk
– cut the small talk
– out with it
The manager said, “As you all know, our company’s profits have been dropping for over a year. Rather than bore you with the details of how challenging the decision was for management to make, I will cut to the chase. I have the unpleasant task of telling you that we need to reduce the staff in this office by 50 people.”
I’m not interested in what happened between 9:00-11:00 a.m. Cut to the chase and tell me what happened immediately before the accident which was at 11:10 a.m.
NOTE: In Canada, to tell another person to cut to the chase (as in example 2) is somewhat aggressive and generally considered rude, because you are saying the speaker is taking too long to give you the information and you feel they are wasting your time. This expression is best used to refer to yourself, as in Example 1.
EXTRA: Here is an interesting explanation about where the expression CUT TO THE CHASE originated.