[Ads-l] Antedating "cut the mustard"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 17 20:00:03 UTC 2019

On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 3:45 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

> In connection with the various early uses of “cut the mustard”, there’s an
> etymythology that might could be worth mentioning, namely that the phrase
> is a “corruption” of “cut the muster”. See, for example,
> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Talk:cut_the_muster
> As usual, there’s no actual evidence for “cut (the) muster" actually
> appearing independent of the etymythological story, and most sources
> explain that it comes from a confusion or blending of “cut the mustard” +
> “pass muster”, e.g.
> https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/passing-muster-and-mustard

It's good to see the M-W usage note also covers the eggcorn (or idiom
blend) "pass mustard," which was entered into the ECDB by Arnold Z. in '05:



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

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