mustard


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Related to mustard: mustard gas

after meat, mustard

A phrase emphasizing that something has come too late to be useful (like mustard after meat has already been eaten). A: "Here, I finished my project, Mr. Smith!" B: "Ah, after meat, mustard. I've already submitted your final grade, and it's too late to change it."
See also: after, mustard

the pope's mustard maker

A pompous person, especially one in an insignificant job or role. In the 14th century, Pope John XXII had a personal "moutardier" (mustard-maker), to ensure that his food was properly seasoned. All she does is copy files all day, but she acts like she's the pope's mustard maker. I practically have to beg for a chance to use the copier!
See also: maker, mustard

be as keen as mustard

To be very enthusiastic about something. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. These new kids are as keen as mustard to be in the choir, so we can definitely get them to clean up the choir room for us.
See also: keen, mustard

cut the mustard

1. slang To work or operate in a satisfactory manner. The origin of this phrase is debated. I need a new worker from the temp agency—the one you sent over keeps mixing up orders and just isn't cutting the mustard. This toaster doesn't cut the mustard anymore. No matter what setting you choose, your toast comes out charred!
2. slang To work or act with energy and enthusiasm, as is characteristic of the young. That guy looks like he's 110 years old—there's no way he'll be able to cut the mustard stocking shelves all day!
See also: cut, mustard

can't cut the mustard

1. slang Unable to work or operate in a satisfactory manner. I need a new worker from the temp agency—the one you sent over keeps mixing up orders and just can't cut the mustard. This toaster can't cut the mustard anymore. No matter what setting you choose, your toast comes out charred!
2. slang Unable to work or act with energy and enthusiasm. That guy looks like he's 110 years old—I'm sure he can't cut the mustard stocking shelves all day!
See also: cut, mustard

cut the cheese

rude slang To fart. I can't believe you cut the cheese in the car. Now we have to smell it all the way home!
See also: cheese, cut

not cut the mustard

Unable to successfully complete or accomplish something; not at a satisfactory or requisite level. The underdog gave a brilliant performance in the ring, but he just couldn't cut the mustard against the returning champion. I have to warn you, Jenkins, your last few reports haven't quite cut the mustard. You're going to need to improve if you want to keep your job here.
See also: cut, mustard, not

pass muster

To be accepted as adequate; to meet the minimum or standard requirement. I gave the interview my best, but I guess I didn't pass muster. There are so many typos and structural problems—there's no way this report will pass muster with the boss.
See also: muster, pass

cut the cheese

 and cut the mustard
Sl. to release intestinal gas. (Crude. Use caution with the topic.) Who cut the cheese? People who cut the mustard in the car have to get out and walk.
See also: cheese, cut

pass muster

Fig. to measure up to the required standards. I tried, but my efforts didn't pass muster. If you don't wear a jacket and tie, you won't pass muster at that fancy restaurant. They won't let you in.
See also: muster, pass

cut the mustard

Perform satisfactorily, as in We need a better catcher; this one just doesn't cut the mustard. The origin of this expression is disputed. Some believe it alludes to mustard in the sense of the best or main attraction (owing to its spicing up food), whereas others believe it is a corruption of pass muster. Still others hold that it concerns the preparation of mustard, which involves adding vinegar to mustard seed to "cut" (reduce) its bitterness. The expression is often in negative form, as in the example. [Slang; c. 1900]
See also: cut, mustard

pass muster

Meet a required standard, as in That yard cleanup won't pass muster with Mom. This expression originally meant "to undergo a military review without censure," muster referring to an assembling of troops for inspection or a similar purpose. [Late 1500s]
See also: muster, pass

keen as mustard

mainly BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If someone is keen as mustard they are very eager to do something. I have an adult pupil who scored very low in assessments but is keen as mustard. Note: You can also describe someone as mustard-keen. Sir Richard was mustard-keen to say his bit. Note: `Keen' means enthusiastic, but is also used to mean sharp when referring to the blade or cutting edge of a tool or weapon. An acidic or sour taste can also be referred to as sharp, so enthusiasm is being likened to the sharp taste or `edge' given to food by mustard.
See also: keen, mustard

not cut the mustard

If someone or something doesn't cut the mustard, they are not of an acceptable standard. He's certainly a fine writer but as a director, he doesn't quite cut the mustard. For me, neither show quite cuts the mustard. Note: Less commonly, you hear people say that someone or something can cut the mustard, meaning that they are of a good standard. The thirty-year-old striker is keen to prove that he can still cut the mustard. Note: In the United States, `mustard' used to be slang for `the best' or `the genuine article'.
See also: cut, mustard, not

pass muster

FORMAL
COMMON If someone or something passes muster, they are of a satisfactory standard for a particular purpose or job. He spoke French and Spanish and could just about pass muster in Italian. It is the only country that has yet to fulfill all the membership requirements, but it is expected to pass muster soon. Note: In the army and navy, a `muster' is an inspection of the soldiers' or sailors' uniforms and equipment.
See also: muster, pass

cut the mustard

come up to expectations; meet the required standard. informal
Mustard appears in early 20th-century US slang with the general meaning of ‘the best of anything’.
1998 New Scientist But if you want to go beyond this into hypersonic flight…they just don't cut the mustard.
See also: cut, mustard

a grain of mustard seed

a small thing capable of vast development.
Black mustard seed grows to a great height. In Matthew 13:31–2 it is stated that ‘mustard seed…indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs’.
See also: grain, mustard, of, seed

keen as mustard

extremely eager or enthusiastic. British informal
Keen is used here to mean ‘operating on the senses like a sharp instrument’.
See also: keen, mustard

pass muster

be accepted as adequate or satisfactory.
This was originally a military expression, meaning ‘come through a review or inspection without censure’. It is found earlier (late 16th century to late 17th century) in the now obsolete form pass (the ) musters and has been in figurative use since the late 16th century.
See also: muster, pass

(as) ˌkeen as ˈmustard

(British English, informal) wanting very much to do well at something; enthusiastic: She’s as keen as mustard. She always gets here first in the morning and she’s the last to leave work in the evening.
See also: keen, mustard

(not) cut the ˈmustard

(not) be as good as expected or required: I didn’t cut the mustard as a hockey player. Mustard in this expression may possibly refer to an old-fashioned slang word used in American English, meaning ‘the best of anything’.
See also: cut, mustard

pass ˈmuster

be good enough; be acceptable: I didn’t think Charlie’s parents would like me, but evidently I pass muster. Muster is the calling together of soldiers, sailors, etc. for inspection. If you pass muster, you pass the inspection without criticism.
See also: muster, pass

cut the cheese

and cut the mustard and cut a muffin
tv. to release intestinal gas. (Usually objectionable.) People who cut the mustard in the car have to get out and walk! Somebody cut a muffin!
See also: cheese, cut

cut the mustard

verb
See also: cut, mustard

cut the mustard

1. tv. to be able to do something requiring youth or vigor. (Usually in the expression too old to cut the mustard.) Do you really think he can cut the mustard?
2. Go to cut the cheese.
See also: cut, mustard

cut the cheese

Vulgar Slang
To expel intestinal gas.
See also: cheese, cut

cut the mustard

To perform up to expectations or to a required standard.
See also: cut, mustard

pass muster

To be judged as acceptable.
See also: muster, pass

pass muster

To pass an examination or inspection; measure up to a given standard.
See also: muster, pass
References in periodicals archive ?
French's Classic Yellow Spicy Mustard Classic yellow mustard gets an added kick with the perfect amount of cayenne pepper to create this new variation.
Chai Street's snacks and main dishes are inspired by the same philosophy that is behind the Mint and Mustard menu, using fresh, light and authentic ingredients to create dishes.
The data regarding final height showed a progressive reduction with a successive increase in wild mustard density.
Black mustard (actually brown), can easily become a garden pest and often grows wild.
We have eighty six thousand hectares of land under mustard cultivation.
Accounting for more than 15 percent of The Mustard Seed's annual income, the ceramic items sold include colorful vases, platters, ornaments, mugs, piggy banks, bakeware, and so much more.
Bea and Fusspot opted for the cauliflower cheese soup with a hint of mustard (pounds 5) and it did the rounds of table, so good it was.
Edelman now serves this pungent amber oil with lightly pickled mustard seeds on a frisee and cornichon salad with rich terrine.
DURHAM wicket-keeper Phil Mustard is top of Sporting Index's player performances list for today's CB40 semi-final at Somerset - and for good reason, writes James Milton.
In one of five mustard references in the Bible, Matthew calls mustard "the least of all seeds; but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs.
The Mustard Seed held an Easter celebration on Good Friday, which included serving over 400 meals in the evening.
THERE'S SO MUCH more to mustard than something you squirt on a hot dog or burger--especially when you make the condiment yourself.
Mustard maven Mady Smith found herself selling paper products in the early 1980s, but didn't enjoy it.
HAVING grown up on kashundi with the watery, coriander- spiked masoor dal without which no Bengali meal is complete, I've held mustard from anywhere else in contempt.