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I know that when I have an associate who I think highly of and is very capable of performing the job (or person for a relationship) [s]he is pursuing, I will want to find the "recruiters" and put a good word in for my friend/associate.

What if I want to make it tough for someone to get a position? I would want to go to those "recruiters" and convince them that my associate sucks and is not cut out for it. I would be dissuading those recruiters. But what word would fit "I would be _ my associate"? Backstabbing doesn't really cut it for me.

The same word would work in this sentence: "I feel my current bosses don't like me, and I'm afraid that they'll __ me to any prospective employer." or this one: "People think that I'm a slob that they would probably __ me to that hot girl I want to pursue."

I'm tempted to make up a word - decommend - the opposite of recommend where the direct object is that poor person you would be putting a bad word in for.

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Does "badmouth" work? –  Ste Aug 22 '13 at 14:45
    
Probably, but that's more general. I want a word that specifically captures the essence of preventing someone of a pursuit. –  Mickael Caruso Aug 22 '13 at 14:47
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I would think blackball fits the bill nicely. It has expanded from the original meaning of veto to something very like what you are asking (at least in an employment context). –  TimLymington Aug 22 '13 at 15:16
    
"Decommend" is, as you note, not in general circulation. The productive prefix "dis-" could be used ("disrecommend"), and most native speakers would understand immediately. Or you could rewrite in terms of "warn against". –  MετάEd Aug 22 '13 at 16:40
    
Are you thinking of rat on? –  Kris Aug 23 '13 at 7:29
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5 Answers

I would go for undermining, see meaning 3 below:

1: to excavate the earth beneath : form a mine under : sap

2: to wash away supporting material from under

3: to subvert or weaken insidiously or secretly: trying to undermine his political rivals

4: to weaken or ruin by degrees

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Discommend seems to be the word you're looking for, although I can't say I've ever heard it used.

To show disapproval of something, find fault with; To speak dissuasively of, to advise against

source: google

I think denigrate also works ok here, though it doesn't have the explicit connotation you want.

to deny the importance or validity of (denigrate their achievements)

source

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Slander or sabotage would work. I like slander because it really emphasizes the spoken word as the medium for the put down.

As someone mentioned, slander is only the correct word if the spoken informtaion is false. An alternate word would be defame, which has the implication of slander, but is not necessarily truthful information.

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@MετάEd sabotage can be a verb, but not of a form usable in the example sentences. –  starwed Aug 22 '13 at 15:20
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@starwed True. The problem is that you cannot "sabotage A to B", the way you can "denounce A to B" or "recommend A to B". –  MετάEd Aug 22 '13 at 16:35
    
"Defame" has the same problem as "slander". It means to injure sb's reputation by false statements. The OP's context has nothing to do with false statements. –  MετάEd Aug 22 '13 at 16:37
    
Defame implies slander, but not necessarily a one to one relationship –  Brian Wheeler Aug 22 '13 at 18:07
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There is a common slang term in the US, dis which is derived from disrespect

  1. slang : to treat with disrespect or contempt : insult
  2. slang : to find fault with : criticize

a DJ who has dissed every album that rapper has put out

This term would only be used in informal conversation, not in writing or formal discussions.

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You could try 'downgrade'. You could also try to make up your own word but I feel like downgrade might be adequate for this use.

As in, Company A had their credit score downgraded.

Or, in your case

and I'm afraid that they'll downgrade me to any prospective employer

It doesn't work as well in the casual sense with the hot girl because it's more business-y.

You could also try 'hold the mustard' or 'hold the sauce', which is more casual. ( I just made this up BTW )

and I'm afraid that they'll hold the mustard with prospective employers

People think that I'm a slob that they would probably hold the sauce with that hot girl I want to pursue.

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You can't "downgrade someone to someone else". You can downgrade them on your salary scale or other scale - but not "to someone". Also, please note that people on this site are asking for serious answers to actual problems - *not for made-up or jokey answers. –  TrevorD Aug 22 '13 at 15:17
    
Thanks for the feedback @TrevorD. A bit stern but thanks all together. The english language, like any language, is fluid and made up phrases happen all the time. Like 'pump the brakes' for example. Also the original poster said 'I'm tempted to make up a word' which suggested to me that they might be willing to accept something made up. Downgrade, although not commonly used for that can definitely be used according to it's definition. Commonly accepted use and extended use of a word can be different. –  Jerry Saravia Aug 22 '13 at 15:46
    
OK. Maybe British use of downgrade is more restricted than its use wherever you are? –  TrevorD Aug 22 '13 at 16:08
    
I'm in the US @TrevorD. Thanks for the feedback though and I'm new to this Q&A section of stackexchange. I just jumped in too eagerly I guess. I'll keep your feedback in mind when answering other questions. :-) –  Jerry Saravia Aug 22 '13 at 16:11
    
Welcome! You might like to look through some of the Help pages that are specific to this EL&U section of SE. –  TrevorD Aug 22 '13 at 16:14
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