[bad-mouth somebody or speak ill of somebody]

A-friend

Senior Member
Persian (Farsi)
I wonder if you help me to know which one of the following choices can be used in the following blank:
--- People mistakably think that she is a bad woman (prostitute); I’m sure that she is not! I wish people wouldn’t……………………her.
a) bad-mouth
b) speak ill of
----------------
[I have written this example myself]
[I think both “a” and “b” work here but I do not know which one is the best]
 
  • Ania R.

    Senior Member
    Polish (Poland)
    You're right, both options are correct and I don't really see either of them as being better or worse, it's just a matter of choice depending on the context in which the sentences is used.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Yes they both work. Bad-mouth is quite slangy; speak ill of is rather formal/archaic. Malign is a more neutral-register term.

    (P.S. You mean mistakenly:))
     

    A-friend

    Senior Member
    Persian (Farsi)
    Yes they both work. Bad-mouth is quite slangy; speak ill of is rather formal/archaic. Malign is a more neutral-register term.
    (P.S. You mean mistakenly:))
    Thanks a lot dear Ewie
    As I see in the Longman Dictionary, the verb "malign" means: "to say unpleasant things about someone that are untrue" while being true or untrue was not the matter in my question! Maybe my example did not indicate what I was looking for! I need to know the best choice to indicate saying bad things about somebody; I doubted between "bad-mouth someone" and "speak ill of someone"! Now one another choice has been formed in my mind. The verb "malign someone" :confused:
     
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