See under mustard(def 2).
Where Does The Phrase “Cut The Mustard” Come From?As with many slang and idiomatic phrases, the origin of cut the mustard isn't so ... clear-cut. But, let's see if we can't crack this etymological jar open just a bit.
Origin of black mustard
First recorded in 1775–85
Definition for black mustard (2 of 2)
[ muhs-terd ]
/ ˈmʌs tərd /
a pungent powder or paste prepared from the seed of the mustard plant, used as a food seasoning or condiment, and medicinally in plasters, poultices, etc.
any of various acrid or pungent plants, especially of the genus Brassica, as B. juncea (leaf mustard), the leaves of which are used for food and B. nigra (black mustard), the chief source of commercial mustard, and Sinapis alba (white mustard).Compare mustard family.
Origin of mustard
Can be confusedmuster mustard
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for black mustard (1 of 2)
a Eurasian plant, Brassica (or Sinapsis) nigra, with clusters of yellow flowers and pungent seeds from which the condiment mustard is made: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)
British Dictionary definitions for black mustard (2 of 2)
/ (ˈmʌstəd) /
any of several Eurasian plants of the genus Brassica, esp black mustard and white mustard, having yellow or white flowers and slender pods and cultivated for their pungent seeds: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)See also charlock
a paste made from the powdered seeds of any of these plants and used as a condiment
- a brownish-yellow colour
- (as adjective)a mustard carpet
slang, mainly US zest or enthusiasm
cut the mustard slang to come up to expectations
Word Origin for mustard
C13: from Old French moustarde, from Latin mustum must ², since the original condiment was made by adding must
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Idioms and Phrases with black mustard
see cut the mustard.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.