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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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Just as listeners were recovering from the bad-mouthed spat between US talk show host Joan Rivers and author Darcus Howe on Wednesday, the airwaves turned blue once again.
A good rule is not to believe that people bad-mouthed her.
A EUR10,000 statue in honour of Charlie Haughey is also an ''up yours'' to those who bad-mouthed the former Taoiseach.
It seems that Eminem is the only singer being bad-mouthed. But look at Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Picky Martin.
After a year of free writing, his kids are just as bad-mouthed, confused, and headed for disaster as they were on page one.
Talking to media after the Assembly session, on Friday, he said that anybody who had bad-mouthed President Asif Ali Zardari and Altaf Hussain had also been condemned by Assembly.
"Before that fight he bad-mouthed me saying he would do all sorts of things to me.
I WOULD just like to give our young people a bit of praise instead of putting them all in the same category of binge drinkers and disrespectful bad-mouthed louts.
Frustration at his long-term injury absence was increased by rumours he bad-mouthed one of Martin O'Neill's assistants.
But the intensive three-week campaign finished on a sour note with Labour candidate Adrian Bailey claiming: 'The Tories' low profile campaign has bad-mouthed Sandwell and the constituency at every opportunity.'
Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff are harangued and bad-mouthed on an almost daily basis.
His lawyer, Mr Ian Robertson said he had been found guilty of five allegations, one of which alleged he bad-mouthed fellow MP Irene Adams.
He said: "He rang the plumber and said I hadn't bad-mouthed them or anything, I just wanted my water back.
Doctors and nurses, who in real life are - and should be - held in awe by everyone who has a loved one in their care, are harangued and bad-mouthed by almost everyone else appearing on the shows.
TWITTER was off the menu for Jason Segel yesterday after he bad-mouthed the beautiful burrito.