You cut it a bit thin

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Senior Member
Mandarin, Taiwan
Hi there, I'm reading a piece of paragraphs in the novel and its meaning is way over my head. I'll try to provide you with as much infomation on the story as I possibly could to help:
'He dead?'
Giordino shook his head. 'not quite. I thought it best if he lives. Maybe he can be persuaded to tell the police and FBI what he knows.'
'You cut it a bit thin, didn't you? Pitt said, with a tight grin.
Giordino looked at him and shrugged. 'I was on my way two seconds after I saw you get sandbagged, but I had to stop and take care of the guard outside the barn.'
I'm uncertain if the surrounding context above helps you understand what 'You cut it a bit thin' means in here. Though in earlier text in which Giordino was cutting away the ropes that bound his another friend, I don't think they have anything to do with each other. I'd assume Pitt meant to say he thought G's turning up was too late, in a joking manner. Am my thoguht right on the money?
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    Senior Member
    American English
    Cut it a bit thin or cut it close means you didn't leave much room for error -- in this case, Giordino got there in the nick of time... a few seconds later and he would have been too late to help Pitt.


    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    That expression means that you're cutting it fine, getting too close to comfort.
    For example, say you need 20 marks to pass a test, and you get 21, you could say that you 'cut it a bit thin.'

    Hope that helps.


    Senior Member
    American English
    One more help... help is always singular in this case, even if you receive it from more than one person. :) You're welcome.
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