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What is the exact meaning of "cut into" in "I just cut into him" from the movie Sting?

Here is the excerpt.

Luther.
Good God! We're millionaires.
Jesus! Did you know he was that loaded?
Hell, no! I just cut into him. I would've settled
for pawning one of them shoes.
Oh, God!
Whoo!

The line is at about 3:38 in the movie.

Another question from the same movie.

What is omitted in this sentence and what is the correct grammatical form of this sentence?

Ain't a tough guy in the world that's gonna frisk you there.

It is at about 2:24 in the movie.

Thank you very much.

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  • This American does not know that usage of “cut”, by the way. Jan 13 at 19:55
  • @AntonSherwood It's in the dictionary. And it's not "cut"; it's phrasal: "cut into someone or something".
    – Lambie
    Jan 14 at 15:40
  • @Lambie, Sorry, but I cannot find a definition of "cut into", even in MW, that makes sense when substituted in the the above lyrics. My understanding is that it means "to reduce" or "take away part of", as in "The extra duties cut into my spare time". Mar 5 at 14:53
  • No, in the movie, the Robert Redford character does not give the money to the guy that is supposed to be delivering it. He tells him to put the money in a handkerchief in his pants, shows him and then switches it to himself. He tells the black character: I just cut into him and would have sooner pawned his shoes. "Cut into him" here means: I switched it or I grabbed it. It is not a usual usage at all. :) This is in addition to my answer.
    – Lambie
    Mar 5 at 16:17

1 Answer 1

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"I just cut into him." means to take away an amount [of money from the man he robbed] From the script of The Sting:

cut into something phrasal verb with cut verb US /kʌt/ UK /kʌt/

to take away or use part of a period of time or an amount of something: [from someone] Cambridge Dictionary

  • Ain't a tough guy in the world that's gonna frisk you there.= colloquial

  • There isn't a tough guy in the world that's going to frisk you there.=standard

to frisk is to search inside someone's clothes for weapons or drugs, for example.

The full context of the sequence:

                BLACK MAN
        Jesus, what a bundle.  Did you know
        he was that loaded?
                STRANGER
        Hell no, I just cut into him.  I
        woulda settled for pawning one of
        them shoes.
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  • Thank you Lambie for the explanation. Before posting this here, I saw the Cambridge Dictionary definition of 'cut into', but because it is 'cut into something' not 'cut into somebody', I thought it is not applied. After thinking about it, it seems to make sense that he(Redford) took away a portion of his money. Also, thank you for completing the sentence with the word 'frisk'. I understand better with that. Thank you. Jan 14 at 16:52
  • @user1026669 Writers and speakers often take an idiom and change it a little bit. It's to be expected. This is a good example of that. Sometimes the writers just "go overboard" in their eagerness to avoid clichés and sound "authentic". If you watch season five of Fargo, they do this a lot; so much that it is sometimes difficult to understand.
    – Lambie
    Jan 14 at 16:56
  • Thank you Lambie for the additional comment. As a non-native speaker, the movie Sting is really hard to understand with lots of underworld slang of early 20th. I watched the Netflix dramas 'Virgin RIver' and 'Good Witch', and they are very helpful. I am looking for other good dramas or movies to learn more English, esp contemporary American English. I will try Fargo. Thank you. Jan 14 at 17:39
  • Here's an idiom for you: Fargo will do you in. Cheers. [note: The Brits say "do my head in"] Ha ha.
    – Lambie
    Jan 14 at 17:44
  • Ain't a tough guy in the world that's gonna frisk you there.= There isn't a tough guy in the world that is going to frisk you there. Meaning: frisk somebody at their beltline in the front of their bodies.
    – Lambie
    Mar 5 at 16:19

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