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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 ?
Traits seen among bad managers is that they are focused largely on themselves and lack self-awareness-they're not attuned to the impact they have on the people around them when they do things such as play favorites or bad-mouth or don't listen to others.
Paula Hall, left, says it's best not to retaliate and bad-mouth your ex as this has a negative impact on the children
Despite these damning findings by fellow MPs, Vaz still twists and turns and bad-mouths parliamentary commissioner for standards Elizabeth Filkin.
His problem - apart from missing putts - is a short-fuse temper that means breaking his No 7 iron over his knee when he misses a shot and laying out a spectator who bad-mouths him.
"If he bad-mouths his own kid, what does that tell you?"
I can't stand silent as that woman bad-mouths an innocent victim."