Appalachian Dialect Sayings from Appalachia

Cut The Blood Out Of

mans hand holding ax

The Deer Hunter cut the blood out of one of his fingers at work last week with a saw. As you can see, he makes his own bandages when needed because they stay on better.

He said he was being stupid stupid stupid and deserved to get cut for doing something he knew better than to do.

I’ve heard the phrase cut the blood out of my entire life. Some examples:

  • I was picking blackberries this morning and the briars cut the blood out my legs. I should have worn long pants.
  • Every time The Deer Hunter sharpens my kitchen knives I cut the blood out of my finger or thumb. The girls say I’m accident prone, I say I’m going to fast for my own good and end up getting cut.
  • Be careful with that ax, I just sharpened it. If you don’t watch what you’re doing you’ll cut the blood out of your leg or foot before you know it.

I would have never thought of writing about the phrase cut the blood out of, but I saw an entry in my Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English. The entry suggested the usage was relegated to someone getting a whipping that cut the blood out of, but I’ve heard it used most in relation to accidentally getting cut.


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  • Reply
    February 1, 2020 at 8:07 am

    Hi Tipper, never heard of that one before… However, I do have a suggestion though…. Since so many here have some familiarity with with those “keen” hickory switches… Perhaps you can rename and or create a subtitle for the Blind Pig and Acorn adding “and the keen Hickory Switch” Hahahahaha!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2020 at 9:55 am

    I’ve never heard or even read this one before! Trying to think of a New England equivalent, but so far I’m coming up empty 🙂

  • Reply
    January 30, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    It seems the older I get the more accident-prone I become, I can work in my shop on the weekend or change oil on a vehicle and it’ll look like I’ve been in a catfight. Cutting, skinning or just plan bumping the blood out is a regular for me.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    January 30, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    Tipper old slang by mostly mothers saying I cut the blood out you if you don’t stop that etc. sure had my legs striped with a keen hickory but no blood. That keen hickory sure hurt, but mother’s made a believer very soon any one is I’l wail the tare out of you. Old customs came across the ole country.

    • Reply
      Wanda Devers
      February 1, 2020 at 12:12 pm

      That’s how I heard it too!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Whew , I never have heard it put that a way ,perfectly fitting….. I can tell ya though we sure have known all of the above , , experience is a real teacher. There were times granny would say to me,” an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure .” Often I didn’t pay proper attention to when she said that so over the years of repercussions or messes ,I did recall her steer me right words . I do remember the switchings. It didn’t cut the blood out , think I didn’t stand still long enough for it to :), thought I was dying.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    January 30, 2020 at 11:59 am

    I’ve had the “Blood cut out”of both legs several times by Dad’s Bridle Leather Belt he wore, Dad would threaten me with this if I misbehaved and believe me he would keep his word. I’ve also “cut the blood out’ on numerous occasions.B

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    January 30, 2020 at 11:08 am

    I use this phrase all the time. I never thought of it being strange until I read it in your post today. It is definitely so common to me that I don’t even hear how it might sound to someone who is not familiar with it.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2020 at 10:18 am

    Yes, I’ve heard that expression all my life! lol My mother’s mother had 11 children and I think she could cut a hickory switch really quick as those 7 girls could get into places (like a swimming hole) when they were told not to go there. It never really cut the blood out of the legs but it did sting. I’ve also heard “knocked the fire out of him” too but that was always in a story about somebody. Haven’t thought of that expression for probably 20 years. My Mother was known in our family as a great story teller. She could tell a story and you would be hanging on every word just like you were there.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 30, 2020 at 9:28 am

    “I’ll cut me a little keen hickory switch and I’ll cut the blood out of you!” I hear Mommy utter that threat many times and she did indeed use one as needed. I’ve seen reddened skin and occasional welts but never blood. You see Mommy had hemophobia, an extreme irrational fear of blood. She fainted at the sight of blood. I never knew that until I was older or I could have been meaner than I already was.

    PS: You are less likely to cut yourself with a sharp knife than a dull one.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    January 30, 2020 at 9:18 am

    I’ve thought about this for a few minutes and know that I do say it for some things like cut the blood out of my legs on that barbed wire fence or briar patch. I mostly have heard it to describe a whipping. Sometimes I just say it brought blood.
    Some of these words I don’t get my mouth twisted around to say them how they are spelled. Legs is laigs, barbed wire is bob warr, briar is brarr, and whipping is whuppin.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2020 at 9:01 am

    I laughed so hard when I read this post about a saying I hadn’t heard in years. I grew up hearing that phrase and it was always a threat about getting a whipping that was going to cut the blood out of our legs. I don’t reckon they ever did, but threats of a little keen switch to cut the blood would have made any child straighten right up.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 30, 2020 at 7:55 am

    That is a new one in me, never heard that expression. The one I have heard that is along the same line is “the fire out of”. As in, “If you don’t leave me alone I’ll knock the fire out of you.” Come to think of it though, there was a phrase “bring the blood” which was about an injury that caused bleeding.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    January 30, 2020 at 7:35 am

    I remember hearing my Mother saying cut to the blood when asked how bad a cut was.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 30, 2020 at 7:01 am

    We have so many expressions that are just a way of life and I never even think about them. All I do is open my mouth and they flow out freely. This is one of those. You cut your finger and it bleeds so you have cut the blood out if it. Simple!
    I worked with a guy that grew up in up state New York. He used to occasionally say to “Cindy, your country is showing.” It’s interesting that I never considered saying to him “Neal, your New York Yankee is showing.” Being raised in the south I was taught that that would not be polite.

  • Reply
    Brenda Schlosser
    January 30, 2020 at 6:15 am

    My Mother and her 6 siblings have talked about my Grandfather threatening them with this phrase. He was a very gentle but stern man. The threat always scared them enough to not question if he would or wouldn’t. My Mother said she couldn’t imagine getting whipped until you bled.

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