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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!

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.

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


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!
References in periodicals archive ?
Like you, I did not bad-mouth him and allowed them to have regular contact with him at weekends.
We agreed to be civilised about access and not to fight in front of the kids or bad-mouth each other.
spokesman says Doyle shouldn't bad-mouth the cartoons because he hasn't seen the finished product.
The French take every opportunity to revile, vilify and bad-mouth America and Americans.
They're the ones who flirt with your partner, bad-mouth you behind your back, borrow DVDs that are never returned and would cancel a night out with you if there was a better offer from a potential mate.
But not the grudging Scottish National Party, who seem to think their only reason for existence is to bad-mouth and belittle instead of backing worthwhile initiatives.
Seems so in French Montana's case, who according to his close friend, used to dislike Khloe Kardashian and bad-mouth her before they started dating.
Paula Hall, left, says it's best not to retaliate and bad-mouth your ex as this has a negative impact on the children
Is his ego such that he feels he can sarcastically bad-mouth all and they will back off cowering like some little schoolboy in front of the class bully?
I always say we need to bad-mouth our country less.
But he also took the chance to bad-mouth his X Factor nemesis on stage.
Everybody bad-mouths public schools and says you can't get a good education,'' Schaffer said.
I feel that Jason Miranda-Levi should do a little research about how the World War II vets were treated after they came home before he bad-mouths Vietnam vets.
Despite these damning findings by fellow MPs, Vaz still twists and turns and bad-mouths parliamentary commissioner for standards Elizabeth Filkin.