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Name-calling is an idiom that came into use in the first half of the 1800s. We will examine the meaning of the idiom name-calling, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Name-calling is the act of disparaging someone by identifying him with an offensive word. Name-calling is verbal abuse and/or insulting. It never involves a positive sobriquet; the intent of name-calling is to belittle someone and taunt him. Name-calling is often seen in politics and in the schoolyard; it is usually unfair and always destructive. The word name-calling is a noun, the verb is name-call. Related words are name-calls, name-called. Note that name-call is a hyphenated compound word. A hyphenated compound word is a compound that is composed of two or more words linked by hyphens. The idiom name-calling came into use around 1830.


He pointed to Best’s video in one of her “chief’s brief” updates, urging residents to call 911 over racist name-calling. (The South Seattle Emerald)

A political ad criticizing Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has prompted a string of name-calling, angry tweets from the president, in which he derided his critics as “loser types”. (The Guardian)

Trump, famous for his name-calling and insults, told reporters earlier in the week during a visit to Capitol Hill: “Pelosi is a sick woman.” (Nambucca Guardian News)

During their Friday morning show, MSNBC hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough responded to President Donald Trump’s Thursday-morning Twitter attack in which he name-called and insulted the cable news personalities. (The Business Insider)

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