call (one) names

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call (one) names

1. To mock or disparage one with rude or offensive names. My son is miserable because the kids at his new school call him names.
2. To speak to or about one derisively. I barely even know Lauren, so why is she calling me names to other people?
See also: call, name

call someone names

to call someone by an abusive or insulting name. Billy cried when the other kids called him names. John was punished for calling his teacher names.
See also: call, name

call names

Verbally abuse someone, use offensive epithets, as in The teacher told the children to stop calling names. This idiom was first recorded in the late 1600s but Shakespeare used a similar expression earlier in Richard III (1:3): "That thou hadst called me all these bitter names."
See also: call, name

call someone names

COMMON If someone calls you names, they use insulting words to describe you when they are talking to you. At school they called me names because I was so slow. She was bullied by a gang of girls who called her names and teased her about her weight. Note: You can describe this behaviour as name-calling. Many of his critics simply resort to childish name-calling.
See also: call, name, someone

call someone names

insult someone verbally.
See also: call, name, someone

call somebody ˈnames

insult somebody with rude or unpleasant names: In the playground, the other children called him names. ▶ ˈname-calling noun: They were subjected to name-calling and jokes at their expense.
See also: call, name, somebody

call names

To speak to or about another in offensive terms.
See also: call, name
References in periodicals archive ?
Indian designer Masaba Gupta, daughter of actress Neena Gupta and cricket legend Vivian Richards, posted a letter to trolls who were calling her names, including "illegitimate West Indian" on social media.
One friend, Cassie Wyn Davies, said the evening was fine until a group started calling her names.
For 14-year-old Jackie, 14, a girl who used to be her best friend had turned against her and was now calling her names and making her life ``hell''.
She was threatening to kill her and also calling her names like ``prostitute''.
His voice cracking with emotion, he said that his daughter has moved in with her grandparents in another town since the slapping incident because boys were making passes at her and girls were calling her names.
I almost heard them again, calling her names, then calling me names, too, because she was my sister and she was, well, different.