cut (one) to the quick

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cut (one) to the quick

1. To slice a part of the body very deeply. Be careful—one slip of that knife and you'll cut yourself to the quick.
2. To strike the deepest, most fragile part of one. Typically used to describe emotional wounds. I can't even look at her right now—that hurtful remark cut me right to the quick.
See also: cut, quick

cut someone to the quick

 and cut someone to the bone 
1. Lit. to slice the flesh of someone or some animal clear through to the underlying layer of flesh or to the bone. With the very sharp knife, David cut the beast to the quick in one blow. He cut his finger to the quick with the sharp knife.
2. Fig. to injure someone emotionally. (See also cut something to the bone.) Your heartless comments cut me to the quick. Her remarks cut him to the bone.
See also: cut, quick

cut to the quick

Deeply wound or distress, as in His criticism cut her to the quick. This phrase uses the quick in the sense of a vital or a very sensitive part of the body, such as under the fingernails. It also appeared in such older locutions as touched to the quick, for "deeply affected," and stung to the quick, for "wounded, distressed," both dating from the early 1500s. The current expression was considered a cliché from about 1850 on.
See also: cut, quick

cut someone to the quick

If something cuts you to the quick, it makes you very upset. The cruelty of their words cut me to the quick. That tone of hers always cut him to the quick. Note: The quick is the very sensitive flesh under the fingernails or toenails.
See also: cut, quick, someone

cut someone to the quick

cause someone deep distress by a hurtful remark or action.
Quick means an area of flesh that is well supplied with nerves and therefore very sensitive to touch or injury.
See also: cut, quick, someone

cut somebody to the ˈquick

hurt somebody’s feelings; offend somebody deeply: It cut her to the quick to hear him criticizing her family like that.
The quick is the soft, sensitive flesh that is under your nails.
See also: cut, quick, somebody

cut to the quick

To be deeply wounded; to have one’s feelings hurt. The noun “quick” means the living, as well as the most vital and important part; today it also means the very sensitive flesh between the fingernails and skin. To be touched to the quick, meaning to be deeply affected, has been used since the sixteenth century; it appears in John Heywood’s Proverbs and in several places in Shakespeare’s plays (Hamlet, The Comedy of Errors, and others). Another version is stung to the quick, as in “The last appellation stung her to the quick” (Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews, 1742). “Cut to the quick” is a still later wording and has been a cliché since about 1850. See also quick and the dead.
See also: cut, quick
References in periodicals archive ?
In my experience, they can cut you to the quick with their often hilariously no-nonsense comments, but it's just one of the reasons why we love them.