One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘it was regarded as respectable political tactics to traduce him on any grounds’
defame, slander, speak ill of, speak evil of, gossip about, misrepresent, malign, vilify, calumniate, denigrate, disparage, slur, decry, sully, impugn, smear, besmirch, dishonour, back-bite, revile, run down, blacken the name of, cast aspersions on
informal do a hatchet job on, slag, slag off, rubbish, knock, drag someone's name through the mud
North American informal bad-mouth, dump on
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