CUT (SOMEONE) TO THE QUICK
When someone is cut to the quick, it means they have been deeply offended. For example, if a person’s friend makes a joke about their weight, this would be considered cutting them to the quick.
A person who is cut to the quick has been deeply wounded and might react violently. The idiom is used for people who are angry and offended.
The phrase “to cut someone to the quick” means to emotionally wound an individual. For example, a cutting comment could be the last straw and cause someone to leave. To do so is to go out with a bang. The idiom may also refer to physical cutting as in surgery or other medical procedures.
When a person is cut to the quick, they are emotionally wounded so deeply that it is difficult for them to recover. There is a saying “to cut someone to the quick” which means to cause someone to feel this way by hurting them.
CUT THE MUSTARD
Cutting the mustard means being up to a challenge which is traditionally said in relation to sports. The idiom means you have the skills and knowledge to do something, the ability to do it well.
To cut the mustard is to meet the requirements.
This phrase refers to a person that has the skill and ability to do a job or task. It is also used to describe someone that meets a certain minimum requirements for an activity.
The idiom “cut the mustard” means to do well in a certain context. This meaning derives from the fact that in order to sell something, one must be able to “cut it,” or meet its standard of quality. The phrase is most often used in reference to new jobs, and implies that one will need to excel, or “cut it,” in order to get the position.
DAMN (SOMEONE) WITH FAINT PRAISE
We can use the phrase “to damn someone with faint praise” to mean to diminish the good qualities of someone. This is often done in order to compliment them, but can also be used to insult them.
To damn someone with faint praise, also known as damning with faint damns, is the act of praising someone but not to the extent that they deserve.
The idiom “to damn someone with faint praise” means that one is praising something or someone with excessive nicety, but this praise is not enough to bring the person up to a level of accomplishment that would be considered satisfactory. Faint praise can also be used as a way to insult someone who may have done a good task at work by giving them credit for only an average performance.
It’s a common idiom, typically used in a negative context. The phrase “to damn someone with faint praise” means to criticize someone without being too harsh about their performance. It is a type of backhanded compliment.