nut-cutting time (uncountable)
- Time to gather nuts before they are taken by other animals or buried in snow.
- 1951, Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science, vol. 26-27, page 20
- The desire to follow traditions of hunting squirrel in Tennessee during mulberry season in June, and nut-cutting time in September, when squirrels concentrate, [...].
- (idiomatic) Time to exert maximum effort, for example, due to an approaching deadline or a looming competitive situation.
- The association of the word nuts with testicles may limit the use of this idiom in formal settings, whatever the source of the term.