“Hair Cut”: verb phrase, in business and finance, to receive less than the amount due or expected on a financial obligation or investment (i.e. application of a discount to an amount owed or return anticipated).
Usage Note: Sharing some similarities with the gem of a phrase “Take a Hit”, this well-worn financial idiom is more versatile, and more widely used. When you think about it, the haircut is a strange behavior unique to the human animal. Humans share 97% (or whatever) of our DNA with chimpanzees and although you’ll see a lot of people acting like monkeys, particularly in finance, you’ll never see monkeys getting a haircut. But we humans just love getting our haircut. Something very relaxing and rejuvenating about someone tugging on your mane and snipping at it in tiny increments with a sharp pair of scissors.
Unfortunately, as is often the case with financial lingo, “haircut” has become an overused substitute for “discount” and as such has made its way into all forms of conversation where it really has no business being. Finance geeks throw the term around for anything from a sale at Barney’s to short-changing a friend when repaying for last weekend’s bender. Continue reading