“Darn you!” “Go bury your head in the sand.” “You ugly nincompoop!” Each of those nasty curses is a malediction (and, I’m sure, nothing you would ever say to another human being).

A malediction is a curse. Not like the kind a witch puts on someone, but close. More like what the schoolyard bully says to hurt someone’s feelings. On purpose. Malediction has male in it, but it’s not a slur against men or boys. Mal comes from the Latin for “evil” and “diction,” and as you may remember, has to do with what we say. So a malediction is an evil statement directed at someone else. Pretty nasty, if you ask me.

Definitions of malediction
  1. noun

    the act of calling down a curse that invokes evil (and usually serves as an insult)

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    type of:

    condemnation, curse, execration

    an appeal to some supernatural power to inflict evil on someone or some group

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