A guy is hired for a day,and his performance was not very satisfactory(even for one day). There are two employers. So one of them sats(jokingly) says:

Let's cut down (or take down) his pay a bit.(let's give him lesser pay [though it was for one day])

So what should be used(of course other than the one in the circular brackets): take down/cut down?

  • 1
    Neither is idiomatic. I would say let's reduce his pay or let's pay him less. Apr 9 '19 at 18:01
  • @JasonBassford How about let's cut his pay?
    – user3395
    Apr 9 '19 at 19:59
  • 1
    @userr2684291 I don't think that would sound quite right for a one-day job. It would be okay if it were somebody working at a salaried job. Apr 9 '19 at 23:21

Cut down is more appropriate referring to the pay.

From: The Congressional Globe:

....we must not cut down the pay of the General of the Army. Well, if Congress does not want to cut down the pay of the General, Congress need not do it; but I would just as soon cut down the pay of one ...

Take down is generally used in different contexts:

to remove something that was previously put up or put in place:

  • It must be time to take down the holiday decorations. take down something.

to write something that you are looking at or listening to:

  • I can take down the messages that come in.

(Cambridge Dictionary)

  • 2
    That example of "cut down the pay" is from 1870. Since the 1920s, the expression of cutting someone's pay has been more common than cutting down someone's pay. Reference: books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Katy
    Apr 10 '19 at 5:06

"Cut his pay" would be the best terminology to use in the case of reducing ones pay.


take down does not mean to reduce something. A proper phrasal verb for this meaning would be cut down

And you should say

Let's cut down his pay.

take down means to reduce sth from a higher level to a lower level

Take the book down from the shelf.

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