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Cut the mustard

Posted by ESC on January 15, 2000

In Reply to: Cut the mustard posted by ginger strauss on January 15, 2000

: what's the derivation of "cut the mustard"??


From the "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" (Second Edition, HarperCollins, 1977) by William and Mary Morris: "cut the mustard -- was originally a Western expression, popular among cowboys during the late nineteenth century. If something was 'the proper mustard,' it was O.K., the genuine article. Andy Adams used the expression this way in his famous 'Log of a Cowboy,' when he wrote that 'for fear the two dogs were not the proper mustard, he had that dog man sue him in court to make him prove the pedigree.' And Carl Sandburg once wrote: 'Kid each other, you cheapskates. Tell each other you're all to the mustard." Then expression cut the mustard then came into vogue."