LINGUIST List 10.283

Mon Feb 22 1999

Disc: "Tide/tie someone over"

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. David Harris, Follow-up to recent "tide/tie someone over" discussion

Message 1: Follow-up to recent "tide/tie someone over" discussion

Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 11:38:47 -0500
From: David Harris <>
Subject: Follow-up to recent "tide/tie someone over" discussion

Follow-up to recent "tide/tie someone over" discussion:

This post is in reference to Marc Picard's summary of January 27th in
which the phenomenon of "to tie someone over" was interpreted as a
re-analysis of an unfamiliar word ("tide") to one that made more sense
to the speaker ("tie"). I personally have never heard anyone use the
word "tie" in this expression, but I found the discussion interesting
nonetheless. The subject came up at a party over the long weekend
where a friend brought up the expression "cutting the mustard" as an
example of this same phenomenon, with "cutting (the) muster" being, in
her view, the correct form.

"Cutting muster" does make sense, but I don't believe I've encountered
the expression before. (Although I have this vague idea I may have
heard it in the military). No one else at the party was familiar with
the expression. It was also not mentioned in the listing of similarly
re-analyzed expressions which appeared toward the end of Picard's
summary. So I'm wondering if anyone else out there has heard or used
the expression "cutting (the) muster" in the sense of "cutting the


David Harris
Language Analysis Systems, Inc.
Herndon, VA 20170

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