your name is mud

(one's) name is mud

Said of one who is regarded unfavorably, often because one's 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 the 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. Don't you dare come 'round these parts again, after how you treated my daughter! Your name is mud, sonny!
See also: mud, name
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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