To Cut Corners: Origin and Meaning
The phrase “cutting corners” comes from driving. It’s when you come to a sharp turn in the road and instead of going all the way to the corner, you go straight across and cut off the corner to save time by shortening the distance you travel.
Cutting corners in this sense means doing something badly or cheaply because things were left out of a process that should not have been. Cutting corners often implies laziness or complacency.
– “We couldn’t get the money we needed, so we had to cut corners to make the film – and it shows.”
– “I hate to cut corners, too, but I can’t see how else we can meet that deadline.”