my name is mud
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(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.
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my name is mud
see under name is mud.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
name is mud, one's
One is discredited. This term apparently originated in the British Parliament in the early nineteenth century, when it was used for any member who disgraced himself, through either a singularly bad speech or an overwhelming defeat in an election. (In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries mud was slang for “a fool” or “a stupid fellow.”) Some ascribe the usage to Dr. Samuel Mudd, who helped John Wilkes Booth escape after assassinating President Lincoln. Apart from the different spelling, this derivation is a bit of folklore. Actually, “mud” was defined as a “stupid, twadding fellow” in a slang dictionary of 1823, which also stated “And his name is mud” was pronounced after a silly speech. Even earlier, “mud” was defined as a fool or thick-skulled fellow (in Hell upon Earth, 1703). In time, however, the meaning became milder, simply denoting that someone had made a bad mistake.
See also: name
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer