Slander is making a false statement to cause damage to someone's reputation. This is an oral statement, rather than one in written form (libel), and is usually performed maliciously to defame.
General Slander Examples
- Telling someone that a certain person has a sexually transmitted disease
- Relating to someone that a husband is cheating on his wife
- Saying a doctor has fake diplomas on his wall
- An employer claiming an employee stole equipment
- Stating that a severed finger was found in the soup at a restaurant
- Accusing someone of stealing your television
- Saying Linda had an affair with a company executive to get a promotion
- Claiming the business owners participated in unethical and illegal activities
- Telling someone that a person cheated on his taxes
- Saying a restaurant is serving meat from dogs
- Claiming that someone is gay, lesbian or bisexual
- Relating that someone is incompetent at their job
- Accusing a celebrity of having a threesome with a man and a woman
Political Slander Examples
- Concerning slander between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, Adams' organization called Jefferson "a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father." They also called him an atheist, a weakling, a coward and a libertine.
- John Adams was called a tyrant, a criminal, a hypocrite and a fool by Jefferson's people.
- "New Zealanders who emigrate to Australia raise the IQs of both countries" - New Zealand Prime Minister Rob Muldoon.
- "It's like being savaged by a dead sheep" - Denis Healey on being attacked by Geoffrey Howe.
- "The Prime Minister clings to data the way a drunkard clings to lampposts, not for illumination, but to keep him standing up." - Romano Prodi on Silvio Berlusconi.
- "He says he works out because it clears his mind. Sometimes just a little too much." - Jay Leno on George W Bush.
- "She probably thinks Sinai is the plural of sinus" - Jonathan Aitken on Margaret Thatcher.
As you can see, slander is very common. You can only take legal action for slander if the statement is false and does tangible harm to you.