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Re: His name is Mudd!

Posted by James Briggs on May 23, 2000

In Reply to: His name is Mudd! posted by Raymond D Brackett on May 22, 2000

: ...the saying 'his name is mudd'..or..'my name is mudd' means that you've done something bad. Is this correct?....the origian being that Dr. Mudd treated John Wilkes Booth after shooting President Lincoln; and the citizens were outraged that he did so.
: .and so after that when you did something bad; someone might say: 'your name is mudd!'.....at least I've always heard this........any thoughts?

I think this one has been discussed before, but I can't find it in the archive. Thus, on pain of repeating myself or others:
His name is mud is a derogatory phrase used to suggest that someone is out of favour or has offended his or her peers. This has nothing to do with wet earth; the correct spelling is Mudd and refers to Dr Samuel Mudd, a country doctor in the USA. In ignorance as to what had happened he treated the broken leg of one John Wilkes Booth shortly after Booth had assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in a Washington theatre in 1865. Booth had had a horse waiting for him outside the theatre; he made his escape to the nearby countryside and was treated by Dr Mudd. The next day, on hearing of the assassination, Dr Mudd informed the authorities that he had treated Booth. In spite of Dr Mudd's ignorance of the events at the time he gave the treatment, he was arrested and charged with conspiracy. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. Truth eventually prevailed and Dr Mudd was pardoned in 1869. However the public never forgave him and it was only in the 1970s was he actually declared innocent and the family name cleared.