or, name calling
- to insult someone
- verbally abuses somebody
- to tease someone with nasty names
- She was afraid that if she wore spectacles to her school, the other kids would call her names.
- Before you call someone names you better make sure that they do not hear you.
- I go into trouble for calling the teacher names behind her back.
- The new boy in class is always calling us names.
- Teacher warned Peter to quit name calling of new students in the class.
- I stopped talking with Jane because she has a bad habit of name calling.
- I saw a mother was teaching to her son that name calling is a bad thing.
- Police investigated that the name calling was the real reason behind the fatal fight.
- I don't like people who call others names without any reason.
- Alex hit him when he didn't stop calling names over and over again.
- She start calling names at people who didn't support her during the election.
When you call someone by a disparaging name you are trying to make them feel bad about themselves. It is often used when speaking badly about someone when they are not around. It can also be used when trying to assert dominance, especially by children. It is a way of making fun of other people who are weaker than you are.
In the 1300s the word name used to mean "your reputation." Thus, if someone called you something else they would be damaging your reputation. In the 1800s the phrase became known as name-calling meaning "the use of opprobrious epithets." This means that you are abusing someone or bringing disgrace.
The idiom was first recorded in the late 1600s. There is a similar phrase that was used by Shakespeare in Richard III (which is believed to have been written in the 1590s.)
Richard III (1:3):
"That thou hadst called me all these bitter names."
- verbally abuse