"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[skohld] /skoʊld/
verb (used with object)
to find fault with angrily; chide; reprimand:
The teacher scolded me for being late.
verb (used without object)
to find fault; reprove.
to use abusive language.
a person who is constantly scolding, often with loud and abusive speech.
Origin of scold
1150-1200; (noun) Middle English, variant of scald < Old Norse skald poet (as author of insulting poems); see skald; (v.) Middle English scolden, derivative of the noun
Related forms
scoldable, adjective
scolder, noun
scoldingly, adverb
outscold, verb (used with object)
unscolded, adjective
1. reprove; censure. See reproach.
1. praise. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for scold
  • And even in cases where the adult birds had left the nests, the fledgling crows would still scold the dangerous humans.
  • He is also a scold who can intimidate the market into doing what he wants it to do.
  • And he'll scold them for continuing to distribute high bonuses, especially when they reward excessive risk-taking.
  • When his hands weren't on his hips with a scold on his lips, they were raised in indignation.
  • Considering the pitiful material they had to nibble on, it wouldn't be fair to scold them.
  • If you hike into one's territory, it may scold you with a shrill cry and quivering tail.
  • Resist the temptation to scold, put down, or insult the decision-makers or other witnesses.
  • Sometimes they plead guilty, and the judge will scold.
  • Do not scold or pressure the group when hidden agendas are recognized.
British Dictionary definitions for scold


to find fault with or reprimand (a person) harshly; chide
(intransitive) to use harsh or abusive language
a person, esp a woman, who constantly finds fault
Derived Forms
scoldable, adjective
scolder, noun
scolding, noun
scoldingly, adverb
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse skald
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scold

mid-12c., "person of ribald speech," later "person fond of abusive language" (c.1300), especially a shrewish woman [Johnson defines it as "A clamourous, rude, mean, low, foul-mouthed woman"], from Old Norse skald "poet" (see skald). The sense evolution might reflect the fact that Germanic poets (like their Celtic counterparts) were famously feared for their ability to lampoon and mock (e.g. skaldskapr "poetry," also, in Icelandic law books, "libel in verse").


late 14c., "be abusive or quarrelsome," from scold (n.). Related: Scolded; scolding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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