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?

  • 1
    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

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?

  • 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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.