give a bad name to

Idioms & Phrases

give a bad name to

Also, give someone or something a bad name. Spoil the reputation of, as in Late deliveries are giving the company a bad name. The use of bad name (sometimes put as ill name) dates from about 1400, and the proverb "He that hath a ill name is half hanged" was included in numerous collections from 1546 on.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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