cast aspersions, to

cast aspersions

To talk negatively or unflatteringly about someone or something. I'm sorry to cast aspersions on Julie, but her work ethic is really terrible. She hasn't handed one assignment in on time! Bill says that he doesn't want to cast aspersions on anyone, but he still talks badly about us all the time!
See also: aspersion, cast

cast aspersions, to

To make a derogatory or highly critical remark, either fairly or, more often, unfairly. An older meaning of the verb “to asperse” is to sprinkle or scatter, and “aspersion” itself once meant a shower or spray. The full phrase is newer, but we find the same meaning in Sheridan’s play, The Rivals (1775), in which Mrs. Malaprop complains bitterly of “an attack upon my language! . . . an aspersion upon my parts of speech” (3:3).
See also: cast