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Abuse vs Vituperation vs Invective vs Obloquy vs Scurrility vs Billingsgate

Abuse, vituperation, invective, obloquy, scurrility and billingsgate all mean vehemently expressed condemnation or disapproval.

Abuse implies the anger of the speaker and stressed the harshness of the language.

  • I was left shouting abuse as the car sped off.

Vituperation implies fluent and sustained abuse.

  • The personal vituperation merely illustrated his general contempt for everything and everybody.

Invective implies a comparable vehemence but suggests greater verbal and rhetorical skill and may apply to a public denunciation.

  • A stream of invective from some sectors of the press continues to assail the government.

Obloquy suggests defamation and consequent shame and disgrace. (see also: Disgrace vs Dishonor vs Disrepute vs Shame vs Infamy vs Ignominy vs Opprobrium vs Obloquy vs Odium )

  • His controversial essays have brought him much obloquy.

Scurrility implies viciousness of attack and coarseness or foulness of language.

  • The host has more success with a mixture of humour and mild scurrility.

Billingsgate implies practiced fluency and variety of profane or obscene abuse.

  • The two men with the barrows quarreled over a market pitch and both of them began to talk billingsgate.