(one's) name is mud

(one's) name is mud

Said of one who is regarded unfavorably, often because their reputation has been tarnished. Despite predating Abraham Lincoln's assassination, the phrase is often said to refer to Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was jailed for treating John Wilkes Booth after Booth shot Lincoln. Now that staff knows that I'm the one who proposed the layoffs, my name is mud. His name is mud now that he's been found guilty of embezzling money from the company.
See also: mud, name

one's name is mud

Fig. one is in trouble or humiliated. If I can't get this contract signed, my name will be mud. His name is mud ever since he broke the crystal vase.
See also: mud, name

my name is mud

see under name is mud.
See also: mud, name

name is mud, one's

One is in trouble, disgraced, or discredited, as in If they find out I broke it, my name will be mud, or If his estimate is completely wrong, his name will be mud. A popular theory for this expression's origin derives it from Dr. Samuel Mudd, the physician who was convicted as conspirator after he set the broken ankle of President Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. But the expression was first recorded in 1823, when mud was slang for a stupid person or fool, a usage dating from the early 1700s. Later the term mud simply alluded to discredit.
See also: name

someone's name is mud

INFORMAL
If you say that someone's name is mud, you mean that they have said or done something which has made them very unpopular with a particular group of people. His name has been mud at the Telegraph since he left to work for a rival newspaper. Note: This expression may refer to Dr Samuel Mudd. John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, broke his leg while trying to escape and was treated by Dr Mudd. Although Mudd did not know what his patient had done when he was treating him, he was put in prison and he and his family were hated for many years.
See also: mud, name

someone's name is mud

someone is in disgrace or unpopular. informal
Mud was a colloquial term for a fool from the early 18th century to the late 19th century.
1998 Times Just because I smoked a few lousy cigarettes every hour for 25 years, my name is mud in the insurance business.
See also: mud, name

your name is mud

A dishonored reputation. Folk etymology would have it that “mud” is really “Mudd,” as in Dr. Samuel Mudd, the physician who was imprisoned for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth and then treating Booth's broken leg following Lincoln's assassination. However, the phrase was recorded some twenty years before Lincoln died. In truth, one 19th-century meaning of “mud” was a fool (as in a rustic clodhopper), not a good epithet to have attached to your good name.
See also: mud, name