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1. verb To speak negatively or unflatteringly about someone or something. Why are you always bad-mouthing Tiffany? You don't even know her that well!
2. noun One who says negative or unflattering things about someone or something. He's a real bad-mouth, so don't listen to anything he says about me!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bad-mouth someone or something

to say negative things about someone or something. Mr. Smith was always bad-mouthing Mrs. Smith. They just didn't get along. John bad-mouths his car constantly because it is too small for him.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

bad mouth

Disparage or criticize unduly, malign, as in Why do you constantly bad mouth your colleagues? This term is believed to be of African origin, where the phrase bad mouth signifies a curse or evil spell. [1930s]
See also: bad, mouth
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. tv. to speak ill of someone or something. (see also dirty mouth, poor-mouth.) I wish you would stop bad-mouthing my car.
2. n. someone who speaks ill of someone or something. Harry is such a bad-mouth!
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
I would say to Elton bad mouthing his country and its citizens is wrong.
He also advised him to provide relief to the people instead of bad mouthing Asif Ali Zardari in his press conferences.
The attacks, the bad mouthing, the speaking behind your back.
Debswana First Division North chairperson Mpenzeni Samandawe has called upon footballers in the northern region to stop bad mouthing and make this coming season a better league.
In fact, he is worst than Harper since he appointed a Foreign Minister, Freeland, who is a mouth piece for Canadian Ukrainian diaspora and who cannot even visit Russia because of her bad mouthing. Her grandfather's involvement with the Nazis in Western Ukraine during the Second World War is a matter of record, and by her actions, it seems that the acorn didn't fall far from the tree.
This has irked X Factor alumnus Louis Tomlinson, who rants: "Is bad mouthing The X Factor the only way The Voice knows how to promo their show?
Thirdly, avoid bad mouthing the competition and getting sucked into arguments.
Cynics will claim the winger is only there for the money but Denilson insisted: "I'm 31 and want to stay in Vietnam a long time." Try bad mouthing the government - that will earn you a 30-year stretch..
KAREN Matthews has been moved to a new jail after she received death threats for bad mouthing other inmates.
He may also like to consider with the help of 'one of us' why we the general ratepayers should have to pay for these no doubt enormous policing costs just so he and his fellow 'one of us' can enjoy - if that's the right word - watching so-called sportsmen spending a great deal of their time doing no more than bad mouthing officials and setting bad examples to children rather than getting on with playing the game.
The 16-year-old was walking near the church in The Croft area when he was approached by an unknown, older male who claimed the boy had been "bad mouthing" him.
Less than a fortnight after George Best's poignant, dignified funeral, Calum is bad mouthing Alex in the newspapers.
``I have no recollection of bad mouthing Scott so I haven't got a clue what he's talking about, '' said Arthur.
I'M NOW so bored with reading reports of Austin Healey's bad mouthing of Lions managers and Australian players that I'm tempted not to buy a single book giving the "inside story" of the tour.
Mike Males, the sociologist who authored The Scapegoat Generation, points out that federal authorities concentrate on bad mouthing underage use of tobacco and alcohol--there by enhancing the image of smoking and drinking as "mature" activities.