give bad marks to
Judge unsatisfactory, as in They gave bad marks to the President's program. This expression transfers the marking used in evaluating schoolwork to other endeavors. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.