fish or cut bait

(redirected from get off the pot)

Fish or cut bait.

Fig. Do something or get out of the way. Fish or cut bait, Chuck. There's work to be done here. Decide whether you're going to watch or help. Fish or cut bait.
See also: bait, cut, fish

fish or cut bait

to act or decide you are not going to do anything The time has come when you have to fish or cut bait - either you help us plan what to do or we will decide and go ahead without you.
See also: bait, cut, fish

Fish or cut bait.

  (American)
something that you say to someone when you want them to make a decision and take action without any more delay Your relationship's going nowhere. It's time to fish or cut bait.
See also: bait, cut, fish

fish or cut bait

Either proceed with an activity or abandon it completely. For example, You've been putting off calling him for hours; either fish or cut bait. This expression, often uttered as an imperative, alludes to a fisherman who should either be actively trying to catch fish or cutting up bait for others to use. It was first recorded in the Congressional Record (1876), when Congressman Joseph P. Cannon called for a vote on a bill legalizing the silver dollar: "I want you gentlemen on the other side of the House to 'fish or cut bait.'" A vulgar synonym from the 1940s is shit or get off the pot.
See also: bait, cut, fish

Fish or cut bait

sent. Do something or get out of the way. Decide whether you’re going to watch or help. Fish or cut bait.
See also: bait, cut, fish

fish or cut bait

Informal
To proceed with an activity or abandon it altogether.
See also: bait, cut, fish

fish or cut bait

Do it or leave. The entire expression was “fish or cut bait or go ashore,” a commercial fishing industry warning that if you weren't hauling in a catch, you'd better find something more useful to do, such as cutting baitfish into pieces. And if you couldn't do that, you were just taking up space and you'd be fired. A similar expression that's still in use is the non-gender specific “pee or get off the pot” (or in slightly less genteel surroundings, “shit or get off the pot”).
See also: bait, cut, fish
References in periodicals archive ?
His answer was, Casey, you're a big boy now, it's time to shit or get off the pot.