Thursday, May 9

20 Cutting Words

I have recently watched the movie “13 Assassins” by Japanese director Takashi Miike. So, I am in the mood to write about the different words that we use to mean “cut.”

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The word “cut” is very general. If you check the dictionary, you will see that its meaning is just:

#1. Cut = to use a knife, pair of scissors, or other sharp tool
to divide something into 2 or more pieces

But as you might know, there are many different kinds of “cutting.” For example, slice, chop, slash, trim etc.

Especially in cooking, you will know that these words don’t all mean the same. What’s the difference between them?

all images courtesy of stock.xchng unless otherwise stated

Although we can’t make 100% exact rules that will help us know which word to use in each situation, our definitions below are very simple and easy to understand.  

Let's Start! 

#2. Carve = to cut a large piece of cooked meat using a knife before serving it


Who’s going to carve the turkey?

#3. Chop = to cut wood by hitting it with a heavy, sharp tool such as an ax

             = to cut food into smaller pieces; often used with the Prepositionup


Can you chop up some onions for me?

#4. Clip = to cut off small parts of something in order to make it neat

Ex. nail clippers

#5. Dice = to cut food or vegetables into small square pieces


Dice the potatoes and add them to the soup.

#6. Grate = to rub cheese or vegetables against a grater* in order to cut them into small pieces

This is a grater. 

#7. Hack = to cut something in a rough or violent way; with a lot of energy, or many times

(This word is suitable for the violent scenes in the movie “13 Assassins”)

#8. Mince = to cut meat into very small pieces, usually using a machine


Mince pie” is a kind of pie that has mincemeat inside, especially the one that the British eat at Christmas.

#9. Mow = to cut grass using a machine

#10. Nick = to make a small cut in the surface of something, usually by accident


He nicked his finger on some broken glass.

#11. Peel = to remove the skin from a fruit or vegetable

#12. Prune = to cut off some of the branches or the top part of a tree or plant, in order to make it grow better

#13. Quarter = to cut something into 4 equal parts


Quarter the apples and put them in a pan.

#14. Saw = to cut wood using a special tool called a saw

#15. Shave = to make your face or a part of your body smooth by removing hair using a razor or shaver

#16. Slash = to cut something or someone in a violent way, using a knife, sword etc.

(This word is also suitable for the violent scenes of the movie “13 Assassins”)

#17. Slice = to cut bread, vegetables, or meat into thin, flat pieces


I’ll slice some bread.

#18. Slit = to make a long, thin cut in cloth, skin etc.


slit someone’s throat

slit your wrists

a dress with a slit skirt V

#19. Snip = to cut something quickly using scissors

Ex. Snip off the ends of the beans before you cook them.

#20. Trim = to cut small pieces of something to make it look neat


I had my hair trimmed at the beauty shop.

Hope You Learned Something! 

Keep on learning !

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