The word "proverbial" is sometimes inserted into a cliché just before a noun to let the listeners know that the speaker is using a cliché for humorous purposes, that she is aware that is somewhat banal. Thus:Tabac said:Swyves is correct, I think, on both counts. If it is the word "proverbial" that is bothering you, take it out and you have the full meaning. Its use here is just to assure the audience that the speaker realizes the expression is idiomatic, proverbial in nature, not to be taken literally.
Yes this makes sense to me, but I have never used it in my life. It seems either outdated or kind of cheesy. It's certainly not for formal writing, but for dialogue writing you could use it.My dictionary says "cut the mustard":
Come up to expectations; reach the required standard.
I'm trying to use this idiom in the following paragraph:
I guess the hardest part is that your parents expect too much from you. (At least this is my case) Sometimes it's really hard to cut the mustard...
Is it correctly used? Is it outdated?
I found an explanation of the phrase here. This article suggests that "doesn't cut it" is a more modern version.cut the mustard:[idioms]To perform up to expectations or to a required standard.
When you are not able to perform at the required level, you can't cut the mustard.Example: "Did you hear that Williams got fired?" Reply: "Yes. He couldn't cut the mustard."
If you don't work hard enough, or if you just aren't good enough, you can't cut the mustard. Example: "So, do you think you will be able to cut the mustard?"
Bush just can't cut the mustard.