[ bad-mouth or, sometimes, -mouth ]
/ ˈbædˌmaʊθ or, sometimes, -ˌmaʊð /
verb (used with object), bad-mouthed, bad-mouth·ing.
Slang. to speak critically and often disloyally of; disparage: Why do you bad-mouth your family so much?
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- bad sort, a,
- bad taste,
- bad time,
- bad trip,
- bad trot,
Origin of bad-mouth
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
(tr) slang to speak unfavourably about
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
"abuse someone verbally," 1941, probably ultimately from noun phrase bad mouth (1835), in Black English, "a curse, spell," translating an idiom found in African and West Indian languages. Related: Bad-mouthed; bad-mouthing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper