cast aspersions

cast aspersions

Meaning

  • to criticize somebody or somebody’s character.
  • saying negative things about someone.
  • to question someone’s ability.
  • criticizing someone’s character unfairly.

Examples in Sentences

  1. His opponents never missed an opportunity to cast aspersions on his professionalism.
  2. “I walked in the office today and Alice was casting aspersions about me to ruin my character.”
  3. Denis has denied casting aspersions on Eve’s behavior.
  4. She has been avoiding casting aspersions on her political opponents.
  5. “Stop casting aspersions on him before knowing him better.”
  6. It is unbelievable that the principal chose to cast aspersions on the coach this time.
  7. “Why are you casting aspersions on the quality of Ian’s work?”
  8. You can trust Paul; he never casts aspersions on his coworkers.

Origin

Aspersion in theology means shedding the blood of Christ. It is derived from the Latin word aspersionem, meaning “a sprinkling.” It symbolized sprinkling holy water, like in baptismal activities. Over time, aspersion’s meaning changed to “sprinkling lies” or “falsely spreading accusations.” In the 1590s, the word “aspersion” gained a non-theological meaning of “bespattering with slander or criticizing someone.” The term “cast” is derived from the Old Norse word kasta. Kasta’s definition is “to spread or throw over an area.”

Midway through the seventeenth century, the term “aspersion” started to refer to the metaphorical idea that a person was sprinkling his neighborhood with harmful imputations or incorrect statements. The oldest printed record of the phrase can be traced back to 1749, when it was used by Henry Fielding in his novel Tom Jones.

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Idiom of the Day

take a hike

Meaning: go away

Example: We're all sick of you saying the same things over and over again. Why don't you just take a hike? Read on

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