up to par

Idioms & Phrases

up to par

Also, up to scratch or snuff or speed or the mark. Satisfactory, up to a given standard, as in She didn't feel up to par today so she stayed home, or I'm sure he'll come up to scratch when the time comes, or She's up to snuff again. Nearly all the versions of this idiom come from sports, par from golf, scratch and mark from boxing (after being knocked down a fighter had eight seconds to make his way to a mark scratched in the center of the ring), and speed from racing. However, the allusion in the variant with snuff, which dates from the early 1800s, has been lost.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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