March 1, 2006
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I live in North Carolina. At first I was thinking "No... I've never heard that before". However, after some thought I realized you're right. Though, I only remember "cut off" not "cut on" the lights. Perhaps giving off a tone to end the death of the lights, so to speak.
I don't hear the phrase all too often. Usually the more common "turn on/off" is said.
I do not know of its origin. This is a very interesting question! I'd like to know also.