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 classic literature ?
Peter felt that she was calling him names, and at a venture he retorted hotly:
Strachan said in his role as an occasional contributor on The Debate earlier this week: "If he goes on to the pitch and people start calling him names, have we got to do the same as it is to the racist situation?
He said that a meeting was held, wherein teaching fraternity condemned the inhuman action of a group of lawyers who manhandled him besides calling him names.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente 'Tito' Sotto III said in jest on Monday that he would rather punch the man allegedly behind the 'Silent No More' blog for calling him names rather than wait for an apology.
Activist arrested for attacking Ninewa governor by words NINEWA/ Aswat al-Iraq: Security sources said here today that a legal activist was arrested, by a court order, for a suit submitted by the Ninewa Governor for calling him names. The source told Aswat al-Iraq that activist Haitham Mohammed Ibrahim, member of some popular organizations, was arrested for calling names against the governor and his bodyguards.
McDermott claims Bellamy, 27, who left Newcastle after a fall-out with then manager Graeme Souness, provoked the incident by repeatedly calling him names.
When ultra-conservative religious leaders--the Religious Right of the early 19th century--attacked Jefferson by calling him names and circulating lies about him, Jefferson resisted the temptation to return fire and instead stuck to his principles.
The officer's coworkers allegedly began to harass him on a daily basis, calling him names, taping defamatory posters to his locker, making threatening phone calls, smearing feces on his car, and slashing his tires.
'I don't think they meant to kill the boy but were just trying to scare him, calling him names and just surrounding him.