[Ads-l] Antedating "cut the mustard"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jun 17 20:03:26 UTC 2019

> On Jun 17, 2019, at 4:00 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 3:45 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
>> 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:
> https://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/260/pass-mustard/

Also not to be confused with “cut the cheese”.

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

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