[Ads-l] cut the mustard

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 4 01:28:08 UTC 2014

On Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 12:57 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

> Website: Early Sports and Pop Culture History Blog
> Date: May 5, 2014
> Article: History and Etymology of "Cut the Mustard" - Locusts, Bad
> Seeds, Invasive Species and Politics
> http://esnpc.blogspot.com/2014/05/history-and-etymology-of-cut-mustard.html

An interesting read, as is much else on the site: "Little Joe from Chicago"
= 4 [foU]. But, I find one usage confusing.

 _an unintended result that goes to prove the old adage that no good deed
goes unpunished_,
twenty years after the grasshopper plagues, the Minneapolis (Minnesota)
Journal reported that:

Some nineteen or twenty years ago there was a failure of crops on account
of hail and grasshoppers for two or three successive years, until there was
no seed in the country.  All the seed grain used the following spring along
the Omaha road and the whole surrounding country was shipped in from the
East by one company.  This seed contained mustard.  From that time until
now it has grown worse and worse."

I've long been under the impression that it's the *doer* of the good deed
who is punished and not the *recipient* of it. But,


All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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