it seems cutting the odds means, according to this website, decreasing the possibility of something happening.

I thought slashing the odds meant the same but apparently it's the opposite?

Unilad wrote the following on facebook today:

"The odds on Damian Lewis becoming the next James Bond have been slashed massively. Now the ginger-haired Etonian has jumped to being second favourite to succeed Daniel Craig in the prized role...", to mean his odds of playing the role has increased.

(Here is a link to the actual article : http://www.unilad.co.uk/articles/is-damian-lewis-set-to-be-the-next-james-bond/)

It seems it could possibly be a phrase dominantly used in Britain?

Does "slashing the odds" mean increasing the odds or decreasing?

If the latter, can you help me visualize how "slashing" something in the literal sense of the word can mean "increasing"?

Thanks in advance.


Looks like it's to do with the bookmaking definition of odds (from dictionary.com):

  1. this ratio used as the basis of a bet; the ratio by which the bet of one party to a wager exceeds that of the other, granted by one of two betting opponents to equalize the chances favoring one of them: The odds are two-to-one that it won't rain today.

In this way slashing the odds means changing the payout of the outcome from high odds (quite unlikely) to lower odds (much more likely).


This is quite a common expression in the UK, and yes slashing the odds means something is more likely. Examples are:

  • You're backing up the UK usage of the expression, but can you offer any explanation of the meaning? OP seems to want a little more than "is this a Britishism". – Will Crawford Jan 10 '18 at 12:31

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