poor-mouth

[poo r-mouth]Informal.

verb (used without object), poor-mouthed [poo r-moutht, -mouth d] /ˈpʊərˌmaʊθt, -ˌmaʊðd/, poor-mouth·ing.

to lament or argue that one is too poor; plead poverty.

verb (used with object), poor-mouthed [poo r-moutht, -mouth d] /ˈpʊərˌmaʊθt, -ˌmaʊðd/, poor-mouth·ing.

to declare (one's ability, power, position, etc.) to be inadequate or disappointing, sometimes as an intentional understatement; downplay: We know you're just poor-mouthing your skill at playing bridge—you're a good player.

Origin of poor-mouth

1965–70; Americanism; orig. in verb phrases put up a poor mouth, make a poor mouth

poor mouth

noun Informal.

a person who continually complains about a lack of money.
a plea or complaint of poverty, often as an excuse for not contributing to charities, paying bills, etc.

Origin of poor mouth

First recorded in 1815–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for poor-mouth

poor mouth

noun

unjustified complaining, esp to excite sympathyshe always has the poor mouth

verb poor-mouth (tr)

informal to speak of disparagingly; decry
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