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cut the mustard 「基準を満たす」 [単語・表現]

master から連想して muster という語を前回取り上げたが、ついでに cut the mustard という表現について書いてみよう。ほとんど言葉遊びだが、実はおもしろいことに前回の pass muster に通じるような意味がある。

"What happened to the lawyer you used to work with?" "He couldn't really cut the mustard around here. He wasn't used to the pace, and he lost his job."

- (informal) come up to expectations; reach the required standard
I didn't cut the mustard as a hockey player.
(Oxford Dictionary of English)


- Slang. to reach or surpass the desired standard of performance:
a pitcher who cuts the mustard with his fastball.

- Possibly derived from the idiom 'to pass muster', an expression for assembling military troops for inspection.

前回取り上げた pass muster とつながりがある可能性について、さらに詳しい説明をウェブで探すと、

- One theory is that "mustard" in the phrase should actually be, as you suggest, "muster," meaning "examination." To "muster" troops is to assemble them for inspection, those who meet the necessary standards then being said to have "passed muster." It is possible that "cut the mustard" is simply a mangled form of "cut the muster," with "cut" being used in the sense of "to manage" or "to surpass."
(The Word Detective)

ただ、それならば cut the muster になりそうなものだが、そうでないのが謎だということで、言葉のおもしろいところだ。

- One problem with this theory is the lack of any known use of the supposedly proper form "cut the muster" in print.

- The OED, which is the most complete record of the English language, along with all of the other reference works I've checked, don't record 'cut the muster' at all. The fact that documented examples of 'cut the mustard' are known from many years before any for 'cut the muster' would appear to rule out the latter as the origin.
(The Phrase Finder)

ところで、私は mustard の -ar の部分を、口を大きく開けて発音する「アー」の音として覚えていた。ある時、何かでこの単語を使ったら通じなかったので、辞書で確かめて、長らく思い違いしていたことを知った。前回の muster の語尾に /d/ がついた音になる。発音はスペリングに引きずられることなく、やはり辞書などでしっかり調べないといけないことを実感した経験だった。

pass muster 「一定の基準をパスする」

nice!(2)  コメント(2)  トラックバック(0) 

nice! 2

コメント 2


by Nominf (2018-03-05 16:02) 

tempus fugit

by tempus fugit (2018-03-05 21:02) 




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