Is there a single verb for someone behaving boorishly, in particular someone talking in loutish fashion? I googled it, and there are many nouns as well as off-noun adjectives like "loutish", but no verbs, although google translate from my native language suggests "lout" as a verb.

What do you say to someone who talks boorishly to you, as in "Don't ___ to me!"

  • 1
    It would depend on the nature of what was being said and the manner in which it was being said. I don't think there is one verb. "Mouth off" that might approximate in some contexts - merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/mouth%20%28off%29
    – Greybeard
    Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 22:51
  • @Greybeard No, that is not it. If someone talks to you, denigrating, slandering you in an offensive manner, or maybe a kid talking back to his parent, what would you say they do as a single verb, and how do you use a verb to tell them to stop doing it, like "Stop denigrating me!" But "denigrating" is not exactly the word I am looking for.
    – Rusty Core
    Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 22:57
  • Hmm... If they were being impolite to their parents, I wouldn't say anything - it's the parents' problem.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 23:04
  • 1
    The slang is “diss,” although one of many. “Be rude” would be standard.
    – Xanne
    Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 1:31
  • 'Act out' is the common term for disruptive behaviour, used especially in the US and in the educational domain. But as it is a single lexeme but not a single word, and as it doesn't fit your template sentence, i'll only expand on it in an answer if you OK it. Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 11:13

2 Answers 2


I suggest two candidates: bluster and mouth off

bluster =

to speak in a loud, angry, or offended way, usually with little effect

Cambridge dictionary

bluster has come into greater use in recent years (look at google ngram) perhaps because of the ways in which modes of political expression have changed.

Your answer: "Don't bluster at me."

If you prefer to answer in the same low register as the speaker I rather like the colloquial but effective "mouth off"

mouth off =

to speak in a rude or offensive way to someone:

Cambridge dictionary

Your answer: "Stop mouthing off at me!"

  • Or if you want to slide even further down the scale you can use "gob off" so you say "Stop gobbing off at me". Maybe I'm just a bit more loutish than you. :-)
    – BoldBen
    Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 11:58
  • Funny, I would use mouth off to. “Don’t you mouth off to me young man.”
    – Jim
    Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 18:28
  • @BoldBen and Jim You both cheer me. And no you are not loutish - just unusually receptive to a wide spectrum of expression! Thanks
    – Anton
    Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 18:32
  • I like "bluster". Although Google Translate, when translating to my native language, suggest meanings like "boast", "brag", and also "threaten", neither of which is what I am looking for. But Google's "define bluster" is close to what I am searching for: "talk in a loud, aggressive, or indignant way with little effect." Google needs to clean up and combine its databases for Google Define and Google Translate ;-)
    – Rusty Core
    Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 22:10

smart off

To talk back to someone in a rude, impertinent, and disrespectful manner.

You're going to get suspended again if you keep smarting off to your teachers like that.

[The Free Dictionary]


To talk impudently to

[American Heritage Dictionary]

  • Is this expression common in any particular country?I don't recall having heard it before.
    – nnnnnn
    Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 4:59
  • I thought it was a common phrasal verb.
    – user403195
    Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 5:46
  • I have never heard or read "smart off" in the United Kingdom.
    – Anton
    Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 10:51

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