bad mouth

bad-mouth

[bad-mouth or, sometimes, -mouth]
verb (used with object), bad-mouthed, bad-mouthing.
Slang. to speak critically and often disloyally of; disparage: Why do you bad-mouth your family so much?
Also, badmouth.


Origin:
1935–40; originally a curse, spell (the sense recorded in Gullah); compare Vai (Mande language of Liberia and Sierra Leone) dà nyà mà curse, literally, bad mouth

bad-mouther, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To bad mouth
Collins
World English Dictionary
bad-mouth
 
vb
slang (tr) to speak unfavourably about

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bad-mouth
"abuse someone verbally," 1941, probably ultimately from noun phrase bad mouth (1835), in black Eng., "a curse, spell," translating an idiom found in African and West Indian languages.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

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]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature