Bawl out

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Although we usually use the verb bawl to mean to cry or sob loudly, it has a another rarer definition—namely, to utter in a loud voice. This is the sense of bawl meant in the informal phrasal verb bawl out, which means to scold loudly or reprimand harshly. It’s also sometimes used to mean sing loudly. Ball out is a misspelling.


On set, she earned a reputation as an irritable young prima donna who would often bawl out stagehands and fellow actors when she did not get her way. [Scotsman]

The declarations sound as though they were written by assistants who were afraid of getting bawled out for saying something daring or unpopular. [TruthDig]

As Eater reported today, a fan … was bawled out by Simmons when she tweeted her sighting. [Seattle Weekly]

And when Margaret Thatcher became PM, she loved bawling out colleagues, preferably if there was an audience. [Daily Mail]