fish or cut bait

(redirected from get off the pot)

fish or cut bait

Either commit to doing something productive or step aside and stop wasting time. Are you going to go back to medical school or not? It's time to fish or cut bait.
See also: bait, cut, fish

shit or get off the pot

rude slang Either commit to doing something productive or step aside and stop wasting time. As manager of this branch, you are responsible for firing employees who breach company regulations. Shit or get off the pot! You've been going back and forth between the same two models of car for the last two hours—either shit or get off the pot!
See also: get, off, pot, shit
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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

shit or get off the pot

see under fish or cut bait.
See also: get, off, pot, shit
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

fish or cut bait

AMERICAN
If you tell someone to fish or cut bait, you mean they should stop wasting time and make a decision to do something. Morale was low after seven weeks without progress — the time had come to fish or cut bait. Note: The literal meaning behind this expression seems to be that it is time for someone to make a definite decision either to start fishing, or else to prepare the bait so that other people can fish.
See also: bait, cut, fish

shit or get off the pot

or

piss or get off the pot

AMERICAN, INFORMAL, VERY RUDE
If someone tells you to shit or get off the pot or to piss or get off the pot, they mean that you should either act now or accept that you will never do something. Time to shit or get off the pot, ain't it, Bud? There is little point in the advertisers threatening the networks any more. The time has come to piss or get off the pot.
See also: get, off, pot, shit
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

fish or cut bait

stop vacillating and decide to act on or disengage from something. North American informal
See also: bait, cut, fish

shit (or piss) or get off the pot

used to convey that someone should stop wasting time and get on with something. vulgar slang
See also: get, off, pot, shit
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

fish or cut ˈbait

(American English, informal) used to tell somebody to make a decision and take the necessary action: There’s been enough discussion. It’s time for the government to fish or cut bait.
Bait is the food you put on a hook to catch fish. If you cut bait, you stop fishing.
See also: bait, cut, fish
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

fish or cut bait

Informal
To proceed with an activity or abandon it altogether.
See also: bait, cut, fish
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

fish or cut bait

Get on with what you’re doing or quit and give someone else a chance; stop putting it off. This metaphor, alluding to a fisherman who ties up the use of a boat or rod when he could at least be preparing bait for others to use, originated in nineteenth-century politics. It appeared in the Congressional Record in 1876, when Congressman Joseph P. Cannon, telling the Democrats to vote on a bill that would legalize the silver dollar, said, “I want you gentlemen on the other side of the House to ‘fish or cut bait.’” A ruder twentieth-century American version is shit or get off the pot.
See also: bait, cut, fish
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

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
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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