cut the mustard


to be of the required standard or quality

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“Debate on meat-eating does not CUT THE MUSTARD. Unhelpful, polarised arguments are preventing any sort of sustainable transformation of the farming sector."

Andy Atkins - The Guardian

Did you
know?

cut the mustard
idiom

- to perform up to expectations or to a required standard

American Heritage Dictionary


ORIGIN

Cut the mustard is a chiefly American expression that was apparently popular among cowboys in the west. Some 19th century newspaper articles in the U.S. show that this expression was frequently used by railroad workers in the American west.

The word mustard stems from the Old French “mostarda” and modern French “moutarde” and further from the Latin phrase “vinum mustum” meaning “new wine”, which was shortened to just “mustum” and “must”.


THE MUSTARD PLASTER

Mustard was used as both a condiment and medicine by the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians and Chinese. The first century Greek physician, Dioscorides, 40–90 AD prescribed mustard for everything from tonsillitis to epilepsy. The Romans combined ground mustard seed with vinegar to make an ointment for snakebites and scorpion stings, or chewed the seed to relieve toothaches.

However, the most common medicinal use of mustard through the centuries was the mustard plaster. It was first recommended by the father of medicine, Hippocrates, as a treatment for pulmonary illnesses and rheumatism.

Although there are various recipes for making a plaster, all basically use ground mustard seed – preferably from the black seed variety, and flour mixed with water. The paste is then wrapped in a cloth and placed on the affected area. The original theory being that the heat caused by the mustard's substances would draw out poisons from the body.


THROW-AWAY-MUSTARD

The founder of Colman’s Mustard, Jeremiah James Colman was once asked how he had made such a vast fortune from the sale of mustard. His reply was:

“I make my money from the mustard that people throw away on the sides of their plate.”


SYNONYMS

hack it, pass muster, cut it, make the cut, make the grade, be up to par, be up to snuff, come up to scratch, come up to standard, hit the mark, crack it, measure up, measure up to expectation, meet the required standards, CUT THE MUSTARD, fit the bill, come up with the goods, pass inspection, stand the test, come through with flying colours


SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“I hope you don't mind my saying this, but the quality of the presentation just doesn’t CUT THE MUSTARD.”


THANKS to Andrew for suggesting today’s word.


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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