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Don't Chase Me!

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Hey, Camp Folks! 

There are so many common phrases and expressions that have been so sewn into the fabric of our everyday speech that we use them without even realizing it. Some can sound a bit bizarre if you don’t know the origin of the phrase. For example, ‘Fly off the Handle’ originated from lumberjacks losing their axeheads as they got loose and flew off. You can read more about that right here

For today’s post, however, let’s take a look at the phrase ‘Cut to the Chase’. Time is an essential thing in our lives and none of us want ours to be wasted (unless we’re the ones doing it!). Cut to the Chase is what you say when you want someone to stop WASTING YOUR TIME AND GET TO THE POINT! 

…sorry to fly off the handle, there. 

But why the phrase ‘Cut to the Chase’? Where exactly are we cutting and what chase are we talking about? To answer these questions, let’s learn a little history lesson about the movies. 

All films from the beginning of the technology in the late 1870s to the first talkie in 1927 were silent movies. Back then, films were simpler. Chase scenes were an exciting way to end a film and it became a popular resort to give the film a good visual climax—a grand finale, so to speak. 

Screenwriters and directors alike, in a desperate attempt to add on to the runtime of their films, would insert unnecessary dialogue and whole scenes that didn’t have much purpose just to give the movie that filler and pad the time before getting to the inevitable chase scene. 

More often than not, this tactic would fail, simply resulting in a bored audience. This is where movie studio executives like Hal Roach Sr. who is thought to have coined the phrase would tell the directors, “Cut to the chase.” So now you know, ‘cut’ is referring to a film cut and the ‘chase’ is the climax of the movie. 

Be sure to use this when your brother or sister is boring you and you want them to get on with their story! Next time we’ll be studying the term ‘Soap Opera’. Until then, Cut to the Chase. And, as always, thanks for reading. 


- John

Posted in Adage Origin


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