give bad marks to - Phrases/Idioms
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Judge unsatisfactory, as in They gave bad marks to the President's program. This expression transfers the marking used in evaluating schoolwork to other endeavors. [Late 1800s]