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In my country, when conditions of a bet (a dare) are sealed, the two parties shake hands. If there's a third, neutral party serving as a witness/judge of the bet/dare, they "cut" it - lower extended hand like a blade (chopping motion) onto the two connected hands, "cutting the bond", breaking the handshake.

How is this act called in English? Is such custom even practised in any anglophone countries?

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    I've never come across this practice in the UK, I can't speak for any other anglophone countries though. Mar 17 '15 at 14:15
  • American here, and I've never encountered this in my life. (Neat!) Apr 16 '15 at 19:11
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We have a similar expression: To cut a deal, though you don't strictly speaking have to shake hands for the expression to work.

We don't have a term for the exact act you described because a witness to a deal doesn't place their hand on the handshake in English culture.

EDIT: Maybe this is similar to what you described?

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  • I believe the linked custom is definitely different. I believe the symbolism is "the friendship is severed until the conditions of the bet are satisfied."
    – SF.
    Mar 17 '15 at 14:24
  • I agree, the meaning is different. I don't believe there's a word or expression in the English language that has the symbolism you described.
    – Mark
    Mar 17 '15 at 14:26

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