Anchors on old sailing ships used rope or warp to secure them to the ship. If you wanted to take a ship without wasting time lifting or "weighing anchor" then you would cut the rope and run with the wind. But others say it refers to cutting the lashings that tie the sails up. Either or both could be true. Leaving an anchor behind is a serious thing and captains would not do it unless they were stealing the vessel and sails were tied with quick release knots anyway so cutting is not required!
By SailingQuiz October 2019 Category: Nautical Saying
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What does Cut and run mean?
What is the nautical origin of the phrase "Cut and run"?
Definition of the nautical phrase "Cut and run".