Although I haven't read the Australian children's book "The Magic Pudding", I'm familiar with the phrase "cut and come again" being used in it.

Is the phrase understood outside of Australia?

  • 3
    I have never heard the expression and can't even guess what it means. Could you explain it further and give a link to an example? Thanks. Aug 1, 2015 at 9:58
  • Obviously it means to encourage growth in plants by pruning. Aug 1, 2015 at 10:20
  • I'm Australian and not familiar with the expression.
    – nnnnnn
    Mar 30, 2022 at 23:35

3 Answers 3


Yes, the phrase, 'cut-and-come-again' is definitely used in the UK, usually to refer to types of vegetable or yummy chocolate cakes.

Here are some definitions:

  1. a garden plant, especially a green vegetable or a flower, that can be repeatedly cut or harvested

'cut-and-come-again spinach'

Source: ODO

  1. abundant supply, from the notion of cutting a slice, and returning at will for another

'It was cut, roast, and come again, for the next hour and a half.'

Source: Fine Dictionary

Examples of usage from the UK:

Royal Horticultural Society: cut and come again salads

Nigella Lawson: recipe for chocolate fruit cake

  • 1
    Ah - a word used by foodies. That explains why I haven't heard it. Aug 1, 2015 at 10:57
  • Hi @chaslyfromUK yes, that would certainly explain it! Aug 1, 2015 at 11:02

I also know this phrase from the delightful The Magic Pudding where it is a bit of a joke because the pudding “regrows” after you cut a piece—like certain vegetables would—but also the pudding is delicious and so the characters cut a piece and then come for more. I just came across the phrase in Cranford where the first person character uses it to refer to her family liking to criticize her for a particular fault: “and in general they cut and come again.” A fine pun, I thought.

  • 1
    Is Cranford outside Australia? If so, where?
    – Mitch
    Mar 30, 2022 at 20:53
  • @Mitch Possibly it's the British TV show? (But yes, clarification would be welcome from Anne.)
    – Laurel
    Mar 30, 2022 at 21:44
  • Cranford is the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell written in the 1850’s (and I wouldn’t be surprised if the BBC has done a version). Cranford is a small town in England. Mar 30, 2022 at 23:25
  • @AnneSandbach Can you edit your answer to add that information? Easier to see all the info in the answer than having to scan the comments for it.
    – Mitch
    Mar 31, 2022 at 2:34
  • Isn't the OP in the question already referring to The Magic Pudding? Not sure I follow this answer. Welcome to the ELU community, Anne!
    – NVZ
    Mar 31, 2022 at 2:48

It depends on where you are at. I have never heard that phrase used by a person from the United States or Canada, and I live in the Northern United States. I have heard it used on Brit-box. I actually looked it up, because I heard it used on Agatha Raisin (I love that show), and I figured it was something British, but I guess it's Australian?

I would have to say that it didn't make it to the Americas, but it did, however, make it to western Europe.

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