Colonel Mustard with a/the lead pipe?

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Contrafibularity

Senior Member
Japanese - Osaka
I was reading a thread in this forum and came across the expression in the title.

After a few Google searches, I found out that the usual collocation of it is "Colonel Mustard in the library with a/the lead pipe".
It seems to refer to a game and have something to do with death, but other than that I have no idea what it means and in what context it can be used, and can't figure it out either.

I would very much appreciate it if anyone could clarify it.
 
  • witchqueen

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    Cluedo - Wikipedia

    It's from a murder mystery board game called Clue (US) or Cluedo (UK). There's a map of a mansion laid out in front of you and a bunch of tiny pieces to represent characters and murder weapons, plus matching cards. At the beginning, you pull cards without looking to determine who did the murder, where, and with what kind of weapon. The rest of the cards are dealt among the players and everyone takes turns using trial and error to figure out the circumstances of the murder. On your turn, you make a guess and if anyone else has one of the cards, they have to tell you. You can then mark it off, knowing it can't be one of the cards pulled at the beginning.

    When a player makes a guess, they'll say something like, "Colonel Mustard did it in the library with the lead pipe." These are all details from the game.
     

    Contrafibularity

    Senior Member
    Japanese - Osaka
    Thank you for the clarification, witchqueen.

    So if you are talking about a murder case and say something like "It was Colonel Mustard in the library with a lead pipe," does it mean the victim was brutally murdered in the library? And the place (the library) refers to the crime scene?
     

    witchqueen

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    Thank you for the clarification, witchqueen.

    So if you are talking about a murder case and say something like "It was Colonel Mustard in the library with a lead pipe," does it mean the victim was brutally murdered in the library? And the place (the library) refers to the crime scene?
    Yes, that is what it means.

    However, it's a strange way to talk about murder outside of the context of the game.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    It has no use in everyday life except as a joke. Maybe if you are trying to work out how or why something happened, you might comment "I know! It was Colonel Mustard, in the library, with the lead pipe!".
     
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