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Quiz about Cuttin It
Quiz about Cuttin It

Cuttin' It Trivia Quiz


The theme here is "cut", which in some form or other pertains to every question.

A multiple-choice quiz by einhardno. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
einhardno
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
382,948
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
504
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. The expression "cut up" can have various meanings. If you are cut up about something, then most likely you are...? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Mustard. Can you cut it? To "cut the mustard" can mean to pass wind, but also something more appealing. What? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. If you are cutting a rug, what are you doing, idiomatically?

Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Which of these is most likely to be called a cutter (perhaps the "HMS Peculiar" was one)?
Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. If you go straight to the point of something, you "cut to..."
Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. This was the most benignest cut of all, wrote Shakespeare, except he didn't. What did he write?
Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. A maker or seller of cutlery is called a cutler.


Question 8 of 10
8. Against whom did three unseeing rodents seem to harbour a grievance?
Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. In a criminal trial, what is a cut-throat defence?
Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. If you arrive somewhere or submit something only just in time, how are you cutting it?

Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The expression "cut up" can have various meanings. If you are cut up about something, then most likely you are...?

Answer: Upset or unhappy

"Cut up" can have a straightforward, literal meaning, but this one is figurative. When used transitively, it often means to criticize someone in a hurtful way, which is related to the one used here.

The expression is idiomatic. One aspect of idiomaticity that most linguists agree on, is that an idiom contradicts the "principle of compositionality", or is non-compositional. That means that you cannot get at the meaning of the whole simply by putting together the meanings of the parts.
2. Mustard. Can you cut it? To "cut the mustard" can mean to pass wind, but also something more appealing. What?

Answer: To perform or do well; meet expectations

I suppose that to be a good friend is to do well, and to sail a sailing vessel when there is no wind certainly is well done. However, those are much more specific than cutting the mustard. As is often the case, various sources offer various explanations for the origin of the expression.

These include highly specialised knives for cutting the hard crust of mustard which has matured in oak barrels, or that it is a corruption of "to pass muster", a military expression. There are other theories as well. To "cut the mustard" is frequently used negatively; that someone or something does not come up to expectations or requirements. Thus, they do not cut the bally thing.
3. If you are cutting a rug, what are you doing, idiomatically?

Answer: Dancing

The expression could also be "to cut the rug", so the wording is not 100% fixed, which is the case for many other idioms as well. This particular expression is attested at least back to the 1930s, and seems to allude to some novel and energetic dances of the time, in which the dancers could actually do damage to carpets and rugs. Of course, people sometimes literally cut rugs, but that hardly qualifies as idiomatic. Neither does cutting somebody's "rug", i.e. hair. And if you fight with knives, then stop it at once, or I will tell your mother!
4. Which of these is most likely to be called a cutter (perhaps the "HMS Peculiar" was one)?

Answer: A small or medium-sized boat

The "HMS" was meant as a hint, and I hope you spotted it. A cutter can be a smaller vessel attached to a larger, but need not be. Many coast guard services use cutters, but they are not alone in this. Typically, cutters are not very large, and they are built for speed, whether they are sailing or motor vessels.

This accounts for one prevalent etymology, which is that the nimble boat "cuts" the water. The "HMS Peculiar" comes from the Noel Coward song "Has anybody seen our ship?" (1936), where the vessel in question is also referred to as the "HMS Disgusting" and the "HMS Suggestive".
5. If you go straight to the point of something, you "cut to..."

Answer: The chase

The earliest attested examples of this in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) are from the 1920s and -30s. The OED also refers to the same expression as used in film making, where it means to transition from one scene to a chase scene (or some other dramatic scene).

It is quite possible, and often commendable, to cut to the chase right away, rather than waffling about for some time first.
6. This was the most benignest cut of all, wrote Shakespeare, except he didn't. What did he write?

Answer: The most unkindest

This is from "Julius Caesar", Act 3, Scene 2; Mark Antony's speech to the crowd over Caesar's dead body. He describes the stabbing of Caesar by the conspirators, and "the most unkindest cut" is that of Brutus, whom Caesar loved. A fine piece of oratory, all round. Making the superlative form of an adjective with both "most" and the suffix "-est" is not considered standard English grammar, and I cannot recommend it.

However, this particular instance is more or less part of the English lexicon, because Shakespeare is Shakespeare, isn't he?
7. A maker or seller of cutlery is called a cutler.

Answer: True

Rather straightforward, this one. Or so I hope. Again with the OED, which defines "cutler" as "One who makes, deals in, or repairs knives and similar cutting utensils." The etymology is from Latin "cultellarius", which in turn is from "cultellus", a word for knife. In Old French, "coutel" was also a word for knife.
8. Against whom did three unseeing rodents seem to harbour a grievance?

Answer: The agriculturalist's spouse

This is the silly one. I think it's nice to have a silly question in an otherwise serious quiz, don't you? But just in case: Unseeing = blind; rodents = mice; agriculturalist = farmer; spouse = wife (in this instance). The connection to the theme is that the farmer's wife cut off the tails of the three blind mice.
9. In a criminal trial, what is a cut-throat defence?

Answer: Defendants blaming other defendants for the crime

Some definitions focus on the defendants, others on their counsel, but the crux of the matter is that each defendant gives evidence on their own behalf (in some countries, this is optional), and try to strengthen their case by putting blame on the other defendant(s).

They are not at all protecting each other, then, but attacking, and at least one of them is probably telling a pack of lies. Not that that is so special; courtrooms are notorious hotbeds of lies and deceit. Trial by ordeal is, happily, no longer on the books.
10. If you arrive somewhere or submit something only just in time, how are you cutting it?

Answer: Fine

Once more the OED, which says that this means "With very little margin (of time, space, etc.)". In this case, too, the wording is not entirely fixed; you could say "to run it fine", you could substitute another word for "it", and vary the expression in other ways.

There are other senses of "fine" which are related to this one, such as "a fine (or nice) point", which denotes accuracy and subtlety. However, many who cut it fine may not be very accurate in their timing, but rather the opposite. "Rough" often means not accurate, and if somebody cuts up rough, it might be a good idea to run, as this means "to become very angry, and often violent", according to the online Cambridge Dictionary.
Source: Author einhardno

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