Mudslinging

Mudslinging is an idiom that was first used in English in the 1970s. We will examine the meaning of the expression mudslinging, its etymology, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Mudslinging is the act of making unscrupulous attacks on someone. Mudslinging is malicious and is designed to ruin the victim’s reputation. Mudslinging often happens in political circles, and is used to create emotional reactions in the public against one’s opponent. Mudslinging is not fair and open debate, it is taking a fact and slanting it in the worst possible light, or spreading outright lies. The word mudslinging seems to have come into use in the latter 1800s. It is derived from a Latin phrase: Fortiter calumniari, aliquia adhaerebit, which means, throw a lot of dirt and some of it will stick. A related word is mudslinger, there is no verb form. Note that the word mudslinging is a closed compound word, which is composed of two words joined together without a space.

Examples

After 15 weeks of screaming and shouting – of political mudslinging, back-door deals and tendentious videos – it was all over, and the quiet voice of 4,306,520 individuals weighed in and decided who should be passing laws and who should be forming a coalition. (The Jerusalem Post)

In times of political mudslinging about EVM tampering, a paper trail ensures that voter faith remains intact, strengthening participatory democracy. (The India Times)

“I and other Democratic candidates are running campaigns based on principles and ideas and not engaging in mudslinging or personal attacks on each other,” Sanders wrote in the April 13 letter first obtained by The New York Times Sunday. (Newsweek Magazine)