We all have that long winded uncle in the family – the one who tells the same story over and over again, but never gets to the point. We want him to “cut to the chase” or get to the point of his neverending story. Many of us have heard this saying throughout our lives but have very little knowledge of why we say this; or where it originated.
This expression stems back to old silent movies at the turn of the 20th century; these movies would often end with a chase scene. The first known example of this can be found in the Jazz Singer released in 1927:
“Jannings escapes… Cut to chase.”
Even though the first known example was used in 1927, it wasn’t until March of 1944 in the The Winnipeg Free Press that the term became popular. Further proof of the popularity of this saying comes from the Berkshire Evening Eagle, February 1947:
“Let’s cut to the chase. There will be no tax relief this year.”
This later tone of reference was not as playful and innocent as it was in the early movies; but it has stood the test of time. So, next time someone says “let’s cut to the chase”, smile because you know that it was never meant to be taken seriously.