I spent a half hour trying to find out the technical difference (there must be more to it than just the definitions in a pocket dictionary of English language) or the consequence of cutting a line into two segments or splitting it into two segments.
The only thing close to it I found was when a question was posed about a need to remove a small segment of the road. One answer was to create two nodes, split the road at these nodes and delete the segment. The other answer used the same approach, but advised to ‘cut’ the road at these two nodes and then delete the segment.
Just drives me nuts, that I can’t find a clear definition of the technical difference between the two for the purposes of editing.
Most likely two different people just used the word ‘cut’ and ‘split’ to describe the same action. In the editors I use, this feature is called ‘split’ but there may be others where it is called ‘cut’. I can’t think of any technical difference between these terms in relation to OSM editing.
The term “cut” is normally reserved for the clipboard operation (as in “cut and paste”) so, while it might be applied in this situation, it can lead to misunderstanding. “Split” is my preferred term for the operation on a line.
I do not believe it is differentiated consistently, but I could imagine a difference:
a split means the way is split in 2 parts, if the way was connecting nodes 1,2,3 before, after a split you get two ways: 1,2 and 2,3
i.e. they are still connected at 2.
On the other hand, the same way cut could lead to two ways: 1,2 and 4,3
where the nodes 2 and 4 are at the same position (but not connected, or they would be the same node)
So the second case would be a split plus an unglue (in Josm terminology) or disconnect