One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who or (occasionally) a thing which cuts throats; especially a murderer or executioner who kills in this way. In later use frequently figurative: a person who engages in harmful or ruthless behaviour; a ruthless competitor, especially with regard to business or commerce; compare to cut the throat of, "cutthroat".
Mid 16th century. From throat + cutter.
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