If I say:

"You really cut to the chase there."

I think it's not clear whether I'm expressing approval or disapproval.

I'm wondering if there's a similar saying which would express the sentiment that someone has transitioned too abruptly from one thing to another.

  • 7
    Note that cut to the chase doesn't really mean to switch gears or transition abruptly, but rather to skip straight to the heart of the matter
    – Jim
    Oct 17, 2013 at 7:42
  • 3
    You'd probably give a mild censure with a negative: "You don't beat about the bush, do you?" Oct 17, 2013 at 7:48
  • 1
    Now that several people have explained the proper use of cut to the chase, note also that if you ask someone else to cut to the chase, you are already expressing disapproval that they have been talking too long without getting to the point.
    – John Y
    Oct 17, 2013 at 10:22

4 Answers 4


You really took some shortcuts there.

It implies essential parts were omitted.

If you want unexpected transition, it would be playing leapfrog.

You're playing leapfrog on the subjects. Could you concentrate on one thing at a time?

  • +1 for answering the question as written AND as explained. It will probably help the OP and some other users in the future.
    – TecBrat
    Jul 31, 2014 at 17:48

It means ‘to get to the point, to get on with it; to concentrate on the essential elements of an issue’ (OED), and is from the film industry where it was a direction to go directly to a more interesting part such as a chase scene. Thus, it doesn’t simply mean that someone has transitioned abruptly from one thing to another, and the question of approval or disapproval doesn’t really arise.

  • Yeah, the most common use of the term is "Let's cut to the chase", meaning let's skip over the boring details and get down to the heart of the matter.
    – Hot Licks
    May 30, 2015 at 2:02

From wikipedia Cut to the chase

Cut to the chase is a saying that means to get to the point without wasting time.

The phrase originated from early silent films. It was a favorite of, and thought to have been coined by, Hal Roach Sr (January 14, 1892 – November 2, 1992). Films, particularly comedies, often climaxed in chase scenes to add to film time. Some inexperienced screenwriter or director, unsure how to get to the climax or the lack of script to meet time requirements, would just make an abrupt transition, known as a cut. The phrase is unusual in that its common meaning of "Get to the point" is opposite to its logical meaning of "I am completely out of ideas and have ten minutes to fill up. I'll just give them ten minutes of chase."

It appears that "cut to the chase" does not mean to transition from one topic to another in an abrupt manner, but rather to focus on what is important and of main interest; i.e., in the case of silent movies between 1912 and the mid 1920s; the then famous, Keystone Cops, car chase scenes.

Idioms that share similar meanings to cut the chase are:

  • To get to the point
  • To get to the core
  • To get to the nitty-gritty

Vulgar but effective


  • to skip over something.
    To omit something; to avoid reading or looking at something

One possible one-word expression which carries negative connotations and can mean to miss the main point of a topic or an argument is

Overshoot; to shoot or go over, beyond, or above; miss.

Otherwise, if I wanted to say that someone doesn't move smoothly from one thing to the next; I would say he's jumping from one subject to another.
Jump To move discontinuously or change after a short period and "A sudden or major transition, as from one career or subject to another."

  • that wikipedia "article" is a spectacular example of how staggering badly wikipedia is. the quoted section is not even coherent.
    – Fattie
    May 30, 2015 at 1:54

Why would you want a negative connotation? Is it that, when your listener skipped to the important part, you thought they should have explicitly stated something they skipped? Then perhaps you could complain that they've thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

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