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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

call someone names

insult someone verbally.
See also: call, name, someone
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

call names

To speak to or about another in offensive terms.
See also: call, name
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
On December 20, Sue exposed on her Twitter account a screenshot of a netizen who was always commenting and calling her names on Instagram.
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.
"You started calling her names and behaving erratically and accused her of having a baby that was not yours.
When they got home he began calling her names and said the baby was not his.
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''.