Hard and dried or Cut and Fast

< Previous | Next >


Hi!! Teacher said that "hard and fast" is the same as "cut and dried"... I don't think so, what do you think?

Examples: Hard and fast promise :arrow: would it be the same as "rash promise"?

The results of the elections are "cut and dried".

I think the last one means "conservative" and I don't see the similarities between both of them.

Thanks :) ;) :p
  • lsp

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Dictionary.com says:

    Hard and fast
    Defined, fixed, invariable, as in "We have hard and fast rules for this procedure." This term originally was applied to a vessel that has come out of water, either by running aground or being put in dry dock, and is therefore unable to move. By the mid-1800s it was being used figuratively.

    Cut and dried
    Ready-made, predetermined and not changeable. For example, The procedure is not quite cut and dried, there's definitely room for improvisation." This expression originally alluded to herbs for sale in a shop, as opposed to fresh, growing herbs. [c. 1900]

    The difference seems pretty cut and dried to me :))), but let me know if you need more. There are no hard and fast rules :))) for how many requests for examples of usage you can make in these forums!


    Senior Member
    American English
    Cut and dried is a term that means something is already done--or is as good as already done. You are correct to question your instructor.

    "The results of the elections are cut and dried." (We already know who the winner is.)
    "The league came down with a hard and fast ruling that eliminated three soccer players from participating in next week's game." (The league's governing body made a definite, strict, no-questions-asked decision on a point within which some players had issue; which in turn, resulted in three players not being able to play next weekend.)

    PS (Player 1, who was the worst of the 3; Player 2 who was better than Player 1, and worse than Player 3; and Player 3, who was better than Player 2, and the best of the 3.)
    < Previous | Next >