be up to scratch

(redirected from it was not up to scratch)

be up to scratch

To be as good as what was expected, required, or demanded; to be satisfactory or adequate. Often used in negative constructions. Sarah, please make sure the new assistant is up to scratch. If not, he'll need to be replaced. I'm afraid your work has not been up to scratch lately. You'll need to start doing a lot better.
See also: scratch, to, up

up to scratch

As good as what was expected, required, or demanded; satisfactory or adequate. "Scratch" in this phrase may refer to the starting line of a race. A: "How's your dinner?" B: "It's up to scratch with this place's usual standard." Jenny, I know you've had a lot going on at home, but these reports just aren't up to scratch. How much money do you think it will take to bring my car up to scratch?
See also: scratch, to, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

up to scratch

up to the required standard; satisfactory.
See also: scratch, to, up
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

up to ˈscratch

at the good standard that is expected or needed: The level of safety in our power stations must be brought up to scratch.If he doesn’t come up to scratch, get rid of him.This expression comes from boxing: the line in the ring which the boxers have to come to when they start to fight is called the scratch.
See also: scratch, to, up
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

up to scratch

and up to snuff
mod. satisfactory; up to what is expected. (Colloquial. Snuff is related in some way to tobacco. Scratch may allude to the starting or finish line in a contest.) We felt that the entertainment was not up to scratch. The food was up to snuff, but the hotel staff was not at its usually efficient best.
See also: scratch, to, up
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

up to scratch

Informal
1. Meeting the requirements.
2. In fit condition.
See also: scratch, to, up
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

up to scratch, (to come/be)

An adequate performance; satisfactory. The word “scratch” alludes to a line or mark used in several sports (see also start from scratch). In early nineteenth-century boxing a rule was introduced that after a knockdown and a thirty-second wait, a fighter had eight seconds to make his way to a mark scratched in the center of the ring; if he could not do so without help, he was considered defeated. The term was used literally by William Hazlitt in an 1822 essay on boxing and began to be used figuratively about the same time. George Orwell had it in Burmese Days (1934): “If they won’t come up to scratch you can always get hold of the ringleaders and give them a good bambooing.”
See also: come, to, up
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

up to scratch

Meets the standards. In the days of bare-knuckle fighting, bouts took place within a large circle drawn on the bare ground (that's where the phrase “boxing ring” came from). The contest began with the fighters facing off while standing on either side of a line scratched on the dirt in the middle of the ring. A fighter who was physically and mentally ready to take part stood at the line and was, therefore, up to scratch. “Up to snuff ” has much the same meaning. Powdered tobacco was said to sharpen the user's mind, so if you were up to snuff, you were mentally and also physically ready to go.
See also: scratch, to, up
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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