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give a bad name to

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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.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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