Definition of poor mouth in English:

poor mouth

noun

North American, Irish
informal
  • A person who claims to be poor in order to benefit from others:

    ‘I am not crying the poor mouth but only telling it as it is’
    • ‘Mick said he is fed up to the back teeth of the government's poor mouth campaign.’
    • ‘Times were hard then but they did not preach the poor mouth.’
    • ‘They've been crying the poor mouth ever since a raft of injuries from a round of club games consistently left them short of numbers in training and unable to complete the full programme that Morrison drew up after the Connacht final.’
    • ‘There is a perception that managers are ‘well looked after’ and in fairness few of them are crying the poor mouth.’
    • ‘The poor mouth of last year will pay political dividends.’
    • ‘Limerick hoteliers who are complaining over a slump in business were dismissed by Deputy Jim Kemmy today as putting on the poor mouth.’
    • ‘We'd be the first to cry poor mouth while looking to development elsewhere!’
    • ‘I am not crying the poor mouth but only telling it as it is.’
    • ‘Though Democrats often poor mouth their causes and campaigns, and claim the GOP is the party of ‘big money,’ there is no shortage of attention paid to the critical role of fundraising among Democratic party pros across the nation.’
    • ‘I don't believe it's credible to be crying the poor mouth and whingeing over inadequate funding when your greatest asset is filled only by the hallow sounds of magpies and sparrows and not rental contracts worth considerable sums of money.’
    • ‘In a thoughtful interview he once gave to this newspaper, one in which he offered a stirring denouncement of sectarianism, Ricksen played the poor mouth in claiming that: ‘I'm only human.’’

verb

North American, Irish
informal
  • 1[no object] Claim to be poor:

    ‘the poor-mouthing museum is not exactly eager to publicize this good fortune’
    • ‘Public accounting firms may poor-mouth, but ‘the audit practice is not a loss-leader,’ says Lynn Turner, chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission.’
    • ‘O Criomhthain figures as triumphantly heroic, while Bonaparte and his family are exaggeratedly pathetic and miserable, as the poor-mouthing of the title already suggests.’
    • ‘In place of serious and measured lament, then, the book provokes more and more comedy at its promiscuous and preposterous poor-mouthing.’
  • 2[with object] Talk disparagingly about:

    ‘don't let those girls poor-mouth you’
    • ‘New Zealanders do not appreciate so-called New Zealand leaders getting up and poor-mouthing their nation overseas?’
    • ‘Colorado coach Gary Barnett poor-mouthed his team before the Big 12 championship game as well as Lou Holtz ever did.’
    • ‘In my view, there is nothing more treacherous than poor-mouthing one's country off shore to its material disadvantage.’