Asked in Word and Phrase Origins
What is the origin of the phrase a cut above the rest?
August 03, 2011 10:57AM
"a cut above the rest" refers to the dividing up of bread in a household.The bread was baked in a small private oven without the use of a grille,so the bottom tended to have grit and charcoal,dirt etc in it.
As the loaf was cut horizontally,not as we do now,ie. virtically,the bottom slices or cuts were given to the lesser members of the household and the cleaner,upper level to the head of the house.Therefore "a cut above the rest".