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6 comments on this post.
  1. Joan Jett:

    How does all this relate to the phrase “cut me some slack”?

    Is it connected in any way to that bit of rope that is hanging loose? That would seem to be the “slack” that you could cut me. But why would I need it cut? And what would I do with the slack once you cut it for me?

    It would appear to come from the “careless in personal conduct” definition of slack. I’m asking you to allow me the opportunity to be less than perfect. But how would someone cut me a piece of that slack? Wouldn’t I ask you to “give me some slack”? After all, I ask you to give me a break, not cut me one.

    Is the key somewhere in the word “cut”?

    Please help me, otherwise I’ll be forced to accept that the phrase was originally used by a sailor cutting some type of rope on a sea-going vessel a few hundred years ago.

  2. Mike:

    “Cut me some slack” = “Give me some time”; “don’t strictly enforce a rule against me”; “your request is unreasonable”.

    “Cut me” can mean “give me” (sometimes people say “cut me a break” for “give me a break”). Maybe it derives from the idea of cutting off a piece for me and has simply become more generalized to uses where literally cutting off a piece no longer applies.

    The “slack” is looseness – less restriction – more freedom.

  3. Anne:

    Maybe it’s this way- someone is on a tight rope (sounds like my dog’s leash manners). They need, or want, more wiggle room. So, “cut me some slack”. That’s how I’ve always seen it.

  4. Andrew:

    I’m wondering it the derivation of cut in the expression was more to the line of rope splicing – so ‘cut me some slack’ meant “give me some more rope to add to this to make it slack”.

  5. Nikki:

    Your website has to be the eletrocinc Swiss army knife for this topic.

  6. chromedonut:

    Cut me some slack is from sellers of canvas and rope for saliboats. Buyers would ask for a little extra, a little slack, from the seller as a favor just in case they had not measured right for the sail they were making. It’s like the bakers dozen or lagniappe for the yachting set!

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