Cut The Mustard
Cut The Mustard : Phrases
To meet expectations.
Cadillac's days as a high status car are over, compared to more modern cars it just doesn't cut the mustard.
Mustard in this case is actually a mispronunciation of the word muster. To pass muster is to pass an inspection as in a military inspection.
Alternative: The mustard seed is extremely small, and is the active ingredient in the condiment of the same name. Hence cutting the mustard (seed) is hard to do.
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