cut the lock

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Allegro molto, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Allegro molto

    Allegro molto Senior Member


    "So you want to forfeit the space without clearing out its contents?" he asked.
    "Right," I said. But I wasn’t really sure. Once they cut the lock, I could still take a peek.
    (from My Personal ‘Storage Wars’, January 4, 2013, the New York Times)

    What does the phrase 'cut the lock' mean?

    Thank you
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Personal storage lockers are often secured with a padlock, which is exposed, rather than an inset lock like you might have in a door. So "cut the lock" means to use bolt cutters to cut through the padlock arm (if that's the term) that extends above the locking mechanism.
  3. Elwintee Senior Member

    London England
    England English
    I believe the 'arm' is called the 'shank'. :)
  4. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    What a temptation to say "Shank you," but that doesn't sound funny at all, does it. :rolleyes:

    So, thank you. :thumbsup:

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