cast aspersions, to

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

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
"Indeed, I don't want to cast aspersions, but it's just as well to have no illusions."
So, for Mr Christley to cast aspersions with regard to current German politicians is really scraping the bottom of the Brexit barrel.
GUNA said the Police Service, by this, has to work hard and avoid excuses and not give the citizenry reasons to cast aspersions at them when they delay in arriving at crime scenes late, or demand complainants to hire a cab when they need to go and make an arrest.
'I don't want us to cast aspersions as to the people who have imported sugar.
'We reject the attempts by Pakistan's detractors to exploit these listings to cast aspersions on Pakistan's non-proliferation credentials,' it stressed.
The spokesperson said Pakistan rejects attempts by its detractors to exploit these listings to cast aspersions on its non-proliferation credentials.
This is not intended to cast aspersions on the efficiency and performance (read over-efficiency) of the investigators.
This information clearly had malicious intentions to cast aspersions toward the commission as a whole,' Gatchalian said following Lopez accusations that every CA member was offered P50 million to reject her confirmation.
"They seem to be going out of their way to cast aspersions on what she's had to say," Wishart said.
We don't mean to cast aspersions of the serviceability of components received from Numrich or your budding abilities, but small, flat springs can be very prone to breakage if improperly heat treated or roughly mishandled.
SHE has set herself up as some sort of judge to cast aspersions on how the rest of us live our lives.
Not even Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead has been able or willing to cast aspersions on the performance of his English counterpart in negotiations.
He said: "To cast aspersions on same-sex couples' ability to provide safety and security is profoundly irresponsible."
A letter from Jack Wall, the chairman of the board of regents, delivered to Ransom on Tuesday notifying him of Friday's meeting said Ransom's "decision to ignore, disregard, or violate" directives from the board not to cast aspersions on the proposal or the flagship campus had "caused considerable disruption and undermined [his] leadership."
US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney may have been eager to cast aspersions on the character of the nation that welcomed him to its shores yesterday, by questioning our readiness to hold the Games and the reception the athletes would receive.