What Does the Phrase “Cut and Dried” Mean and Where Did the Expression “Hit a Snag” Come From?

The phrase “cut and dried” means it’s a finished job and comes from the lumber industry.

The two processes for preparing wood for sale are to cut it and then dry it.

The same industry gave us the expression “hit a snag,” meaning we’ve got a problem.

A snag is a tree trunk stuck on the river bottom with one end protruding just enough to slow or stop the log drive, which can’t continue until the snag is removed.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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