There's an old story that the expression "my name is mud" derives from Dr. Samuel Mudd, who unwisely took pity on Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Mudd treated the broken ankle Booth suffered in his leap to the stage of Ford's Theater; for his trouble, he was sentenced to life in a federal prison. But Mudd isn't being commemorated in "his name is mud." The phrase first appeared in print in 1820, 45 years before Lincoln's assassination. It probably originates in another obscure bit of English slang -- "mud" was an eighteenth century equivalent of our "dope" or "dolt" and was used through the nineteenth century by union workers as a rough equivalent of "scab."
Mike - Storyville, United States