Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

cut to the bone

cut to the bone
Meaning(s)
1) reduce something severely, upset someone deeply
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • cut your expenses to the bone/cut someone to the bone
  • Analysis

    To cut something to the bone means to get to the core of something. When you cut through something to get to the bone you slice through something to reach the bone beneath the flesh. In a figurative sense to cut something to the bone can mean to reduce or decrease something so that only the essential elements remain. To cut to the bone can also mean to hurt someone emotionally.

  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. If I'm going to save up enough for a holiday, the money I spend on non-essential things will need to be cut to the bone.
    2. What Rachel said yesterday really cuts me to the bone. I thought we were friends, but I guess not.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. Even though we have been cutting our expenses to the bone, we are still losing money. It's hard to know where to go from here.
    2. Peter had put a huge amount of time and effort into opening his own restaurant, so the harsh feedback he received from his customers cut him to the bone.
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