1. the testicles; occas. in sing.
|Poems (1834) II 69: Haill, forever senyeour! thy bawis hingis throw thy breik.‘Flyting of Dunbar & Kennedy’ in Laing|
|‘The Cuckoo’s Commendation’ in Pepys Ballads (1929) I 95: The nimble fingered barber / That to your chamber comes / To washe your heade and trim your bearde / With water and sweet perfumes: / The while that he’s from home, / His wyfe a freinde may finde, / With balls and casting bottles / For to content hir minde.|
|Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) II Bk V 677: And my sweet wife shall hold the combat Long as my baws can on her bum beat.(trans.)|
|Writings (1704) 73: And why with two Balls? ’Cause it’s very well known, / A Pair pleases Ladies much better than One.‘A Walk to Islington’|
|Wonder! II i: violante: Ha! Exceedingly merry! Had you treats and balls? lissardo: Oh! Yes, yes, Madam, several!|
|Dialogue between a Married Lady and a Maid 16: Underneath, hangs in a Bag, or Purse, two little Balls, pretty hard, and the harder the better.|
|‘The Maid’s Lamentation’ Tom-Tit Pt 2 6: If you chance to miss the Mark / Pray load again like a valiant Spark; / Ram down your Charge with a Brace of Balls.|
|Songs Comic and Satyrical 97: Our Organs are twenty-four pounders [...] And as to our Balls they’re forc’d-meat.‘A Fore-Castle Song’|
|Nunnery Amusements 5: His hairy purse hung with a grove below, / And two plump balls made every bosom glow.|
|Merry Muses of Caledonia (1965) 144: O go he east, or go he west, / His balls will no be dry today.‘Duncan Davidson’|
|Bugger’s Alphabet in (1979) 42: E is the eunuch with only one ball.|
|‘Sam Swipes’ Cuckold’s Nest 21: She twigged his long musket, and could not stand mute, / He primed it so quickly, and it came to pass, / That he banged his musket balls against Sally’s ---.|
|‘The Night Squall’ Nobby Songster 4: For over her a--- his huge b---s swing, / And his j--- is gulphed in a virgin q--m.|
|‘Miss Bounce Of Cock-Lane’ Nobby Songster 34: Mr. Balls I’m told you, ladies odd jobs can do, / For you are a man of great parts, sir.|
|‘The Mysteries of London’ Rakish Rhymer (1917) 24: And how is it ladies make so many calls? / Why, they’re attracted by his jolly great — balls.|
|Pearl 1 July in (1979) 169: Eve played with his balls, and thought it no harm.|
|Sins of the Cities of the Plain 14: A priapus nearly ten inches long [...] underhung by a most glorious pair of balls.|
|‘The Bastard King of England’ in(1979) 22: He was lousy and dirty and covered in fleas / And the hair on his balls hung down to his knees.|
|Lustful Memoirs of a Young and Passionated Girl 44: She felt of the bag too, and the two balls it contained.|
|Proc. Old Bailey 2 Apr. 283: Smith then became very violent and [...] said, ‘If you don't let me go I’ll kick your b——y f——g b——s out,’ and he kicked at me in that direction.|
|diary 22 Jan. [Internet] An Englishman and a Yank in a railway compartment. The Englishman took down his suitcase, and on opening it some mothballs rolled out onto the floor. Yank: ‘Say stranger, what are those?’ Englishman: ‘Mothballs.’ Yank: ‘Gee, some moth.’.|
|‘Rangy Lil’ in(1979) 191: Till over the hill from Dragarse Creek / Came a short-shit fucker called One-ball Pete.|
|Tropic of Cancer (1963) 158: A man like that has no balls, and if he has, then he ought to be castrated.|
|(con. 1944) Naked and Dead 161: Mah balls would git to itchin’ when Ah’d look at her.|
|(con. 1940s) Borstal Boy 47: I’ll show you a knee in the balls.|
|Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 7: I’ll break ya balls ya rotten bastard, trying to kick him in the groin.|
|Jamaica (1983) 99: White suit, / brown-an’-white shoes, / watch chain, / plenty gol’ teeth, / plenty self, / always feelin’ him balls, / Panama Man.‘Is the lan’ I want’|
|Flame : a Life on the Game 99: Take him by the balls when he’s giving you one, and pull them.|
|The Joy (2015) [ebook] Birds migrate in the winter to some place where they’re not gonna be freezing their balls off.|
|Bad Debts (2012) [ebook] Come in or I’ll shoot your balls oiff.|
|Yes We have No 28: These pimps [...] they worthy to have their balls cut off.|
|(ref. to 1971) Homeless in my Heart 183: Where the lags can make you a cutter [...] Where screws are as thick as a plank, / And the cries of a man as he begs / While they cut his balls with a shank.‘Old Bailey’|
|Pigeon English 51: Round and round go my smalls / A lovely hammock for my balls.|
|Scrublands [ebook] He gives his balls a tug.|
2. (US) the female breasts.
|Philaster III i: Are not her breasts two liquid Ivory balls?’.|
|Edward III II ii: Those Lilly white snow-Balls.|
|Sweet Daddy 35: Wow, could I use her now. Biggest balls you ever saw [...] great big ones that stick out in points.|
3. courage, bravery, resilience; supposedly quintessential male qualities, but now as often applied to women.
|What Makes Sammy Run? (1992) 225: I watched you a long time. You got balls. You’re OK with me.|
|(con. 1920s) Hoods (1953) 163: He’s got balls. Plenty of character.|
|Proud Highway (1997) 365: There is nobody here with any balls.letter 1 Jan. in|
|Carlito’s Way ix: Heart like the Jews, soul like the Blacks, balls like the Italians.|
|No Surrender 78: Where’s y’ bravery, where’s y’ balls?|
|Goodfellas [film script] 24: They had no balls.|
|Pugilist at Rest 9: It took a certain amount of balls to lie to them.|
|Grits 355: They ant got the balls t’do what I’ve done and fuck it all off an find a space whir ey can be truly emselves.|
|Nature Girl 270: What colossal balls, marveled Honey.|
|Life 214: She had the balls to break the ice and say fuck it.|
|Decent Ride 6: A researcher at the network coined his catchphrase: ‘Business takes balls’.|
|The Force [ebook] ‘You got balls, white cop coming up here’.|
|Good Girl Stripped Bare 86: ‘You should do some stories for the program [...] Girls like you have got balls’.|
4. rubbish, nonsense.
|Philosophy 4 18: ‘If I were to stop thinking about you, you’d evaporate.’ ‘Which is all balls,’ observed the second boy, judicially, again in the slang of his period.|
|Hole in the Elephant’s Bottom in (1979) 111: My manager says it’s all balls, / He claims that my acting is rotten.|
|Ulysses 130: All balls! Bulldosing the public!|
|Sel. Letters (1981) 418: It is all balls.letter 19 Aug. in Baker|
|Sel. Letters (1992) 16: What is truth? Balls. What is love? Shite.letter 23 June in Thwaite|
|Foreday Morning (1989) 148: Every day he there by the tailorshop, sitting down on a soapbox and talking balls whole day.‘Calypsonian’|
|letter 21 May in Leader (2000) 680: There was a party the other day for his new bundle of balls.|
|Enderby Outside in Complete Enderby (2002) 297: She’s going on about you being a dangerous criminal, which sounds to me like a load of balls.|
|Family Arsenal 139: What a lot of balls you talk.|
|London Fields 164: Awful old load of old balls.|
|Guardian G2 27 Aug. 7: Raymond, don’t talk balls.|
|Dead Long Enough 119: I know it’s all balls.|
5. (orig. US) nothing, absolute zero.
|Call It Sleep (1977) 271: Balls you’ll ged.|
|Citizens 37: ‘What can they do to me?’ he raged. ‘Balls they can do to me.’.|
|Spit and the Stars 76: But what does the customer give him for a tip? Balls.|
6. (US) constr. with the, a superlative, either good or bad according to context.
|Go, Man, Go! 70: Are we gonna have the balls!|
|CUSS 76: Balls, the = Nuts, the.et al.|
|Campus Sl. Oct. 5: the balls – the best.|
7. substance, power, strength.
|Golden Hammock 366: Not one of all the men I married had the balls to be free.|
|On the Waterfront (1964) 29: Runty Nolan, when he had enough balls in him, he could really give out with Galway Bay.|
|Proud Highway (1997) 242: The GM, by the way, had real balls.letter 8 Dec. in|
|Déjàvu Act I: Some cunning French play I expect. All bombast and logic and no balls.|
|Oz ser. 1 ep. 1 [TV script] If an inmate survives Oz he’s got balls on the street. I want to take some of the glamour away from that.‘The Routine’|
|Guardian 23 July 17: We’re waiting to see if the new government has the balls to throw them out.|
8. synon. with arse n., e.g. work one’s balls off, put one’s balls on the line.
|(con. 1910s) Hoods (1953) 40: I thought of the coming cold weather [...] I’ll bet I freeze my balls off.|
|Proud Highway (1997) 406: He can write the balls off of every punk who did – including me.letter 25 Oct. in|
|(con. 1970) 13th Valley (1983) 421: I’m freezin my balls off.|
|Wire ser. 2 ep. 1 [TV script] I’m freezin my balls off.‘Ebb Tide’|
|Lush Life 231: I’m freezing my balls off just looking at you guys .|
|Alphaville (2011) 200: The two of you [...] either sweating your asses off or sweating your balls off.|
9. effrontery, gall, audacity.
|Proud Highway (1997) 540: I don’t have the crazy balls to say, ‘No, I’ll refuse to let you publish it’.letter 18 Sept. in|
|Choirboys (1976) 139: She had the most balls. Took every dime I had.|
|Breaks 166: He had the absolute balls to show up for this rap session in a black T-shirt, dungarees [...] and a gold Cartier wristwatch.|
|Crackhouse 87: Do you believe the balls on this son of a bitch?|
|Guardian Rev. 31 Mar. 3: I didn’t have the balls to finish it!|
|Jimmy Bench-Press 23: He had the balls to threaten our friend with thias information.|
|Gutted 70: I don’t know [...] where he got the balls to harass me like this, but I wasn’t in the mood for any of his shite.|
10. (US black) something excellent, wonderful; one’s preference [on bad = good model].
|Ebonics Primer at www.dolemite.com [Internet] ballz Definition: cool, nice; appealing to one’s desires. Example: DJ S: Yo J, I gotz outside seats to tha Lakaz!! J: Ballz!|
11. see balls-up n.
weak, emasculated; thus ball-less wonder n., an especially weak individual.
|Death of a Matador 196: For the love of your mother and your dead father stick it out, don’t run, don’t sway back, stick it out, you ball-less wonder.|
|Mine Enemy Grows Older (1959) 26: On my left, there lived an altogether ball-less wonder [...] He was pop-eyed and froggy-faced.|
|Brave and Damned 82: All right, you bunch of ballless recruits [HDAS].|
|Dice Man (1998) 79: [...] He’s another ball-less masturbator.|
|Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie in Yale/theatre 6: He ain’t normal because he takes after you! He got no balls either. Your father is ball-less, you is ball-less. And your kid is ball-less.|
|Confession of Jack Straw 194: Listen to old prophet Ball, the ball-less prophet!|
|What Fire Cannot Burn 185: The more he stood, the more ball-less he looked.|
1. tough, courageous; despite ety., used of either gender.
|Plays for a New Theatre 113: [...] ballsy chaps shoving a white hot poker up King Richard's skinny old rump.|
|Advertisements for Myself 416: He is tart as a grand aunt, but in his way he is a ballsy little guy, and he is the most perfect writer of my generation.|
|(con. 1940s) Admiral (1968) 240: A salty swashbuckling ballsy pirate.|
|On the Yard (2002) 213: Six years ago I was still pretty ballsy.|
|Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) 150: That Scal, he’s a ballsy guy, you know.|
|R].N.Y. mag. 29 May n.p.: I want to show ballsy women who get laid—or who can say, ‘No, I don’t want to’ [|
|Breaks 193: It was exciting to me that she had been a ballsy student.|
|Helsingør Station and Other Departures 159: Sir Harry Secombe got up in a blue blazer stood before the Wells Choir and the ballsy guys in blue blazers sang lustily ‘The Fires of Love Die’.‘The Bird I Fancied’ in|
|Lucky You 114: JoLayne figured nobody would be ballsy enough to go there three times in a row.|
|Wind & Monkey (2013) [ebook] She was a ballsy little girl for her size.|
|Observer Screen 5 Mar. 7: The actress is less ballsy than the real thing.|
|What Fire Cannot Burn 260: She swore at Tashjian for being ballsy enough to call her bluff.|
|Eve. Standard 10 May13/1: [headline] Will Fayed’s successor be as ballsy?|
2. absurd, ridiculous.
|Indep. on Sun. Real Life 20 June 5: The sight of ballsy Ruby stumbling in chains.|
|Powder 141: Each ballsy gig in Haverfordwest or Skye, was bringing them closer to their calling.|
the scrotum; also as a term of abuse.
|My Secret Life (1966) VI 1261: My balls stuck to her buttocks [...] so much had our spendings spread over bum and ball bag.|
|(con. WWII) Soldier Erect 251: My ballbag was a little hard wrinkled thing.|
|‘The Sailor’s Farewell’ in(1979) 199: And lice as large as lobsters / Into your ballbag eat.|
|Maledicta IV:2 (Winter) 196: The scrotum that contains the nuts is rarely mentioned. Ball bag and bag are uncommon terms in themselves, though the last survives in the phrase last shake of the bag, meaning ‘one’s youngest child’.|
|On the Ledge 26: You’re not coming back at all – unless it’s in another life, y’pair of little ball-bags.|
|Davey Darling 22: Davey was starting to hitch up his own pants and put his own hairy old ballbag and dick away.|
|Gutted 228: ‘...Well fuck ye!’ ‘...Homo!’ ‘...Fucking bawbag!’.|
|Twitter 22 Dec. [Internet] 2011 politics prediction: Gillian McKeith to join coalition government in new role as Secretary of State for Being A Total Ballbag.|
|on Twitter 17 Aug. [Internet] So far, I've started at the baw bags and willy each time #habit.|
|Guardian 25 Aug. [Internet] Who are these people? Well, in general, they are limp-dick – as we say in Scotland, bawbags – who hide behind the anonymity.|
|Twitter 5 July [Internet] Just piss of with the rest of the cowards, you repugnant wee baw-sack.|
|in Guardian 9 July [Internet] How can a so called liberal rag like this favour an unelected /undemocratic bunch like the EU Ballbags.|
|Twitter 12 July [Internet] Tangerine Bawbag Arrives in UK. Orange Coloured Wank Pheasant Lands in Britain. Everybody is Annoyed.|
see separate entries.
see separate entries.
(US) a man who boasts, prob. groundlessly, of his sexual prowess.
|There Must Be a Pony! 16: The only men you’re ever exposed to are such big-mouthed, crude ball-clankers.|
|Howard Hughes 338: Pat was a big ball clanker most of the time. But around Howard or Lucky [Luciano], he became the court eunuch.|
1. a dominating woman who ‘emasculates’ her partner, usu. a husband.
|London Mag. 59/1: Every woman is a ball crusher. He is obsessed with proving his virility .|
|Knots and Crosses (1998) 33: He disliked ballcrushers.|
|Fixx 168: Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch (a sort of Highway Code for ballcrushers).|
|Changing Our Lives 174: I am not interested in their egos, I am not there to reassure them and [...] I am accused of being a ball crusher.|
|Oscar’s Tale 139: She was a ball-crusher, of course, and he was fully aware of the fact. But his masculinity had never let him down yet.|
|Bob the Blob 143: It is sound advice to stay away from the girls [...] who have nicknames like Ball Crusher.|
2. anything that is excessively hard or frustrating, or impressive; thus ball-crushing adj.
|Scandal’s Child 75: More ball-crushing, like [...] one more American Mom.|
|New York Mag. 1 68/1: He is, beyond argument, the great ball-crushing Mother of Us All.|
|Feast of Snakes 9: Those beautiful ball-crushing breasts she’d had two years ago now hung like enormous flaps down the front of her body.|
|Life at the Bottom 75: It’s a real ball-crusher.|
3. a sexually voracious woman who exhausts her partner’s virility.
|Biala 19: I’m not a ball-crusher. You shouldn’t divide women into ‘ball-crushers’ and ‘prick- teasers.’.|
(US) a nagging, domineering or demanding woman.
|Inside Daisy Clover (1966) 196: It’s strong American women who drive men queer, because they’re ball cutters.|
|One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 57: She’s a bitch and a buzzard and a ball-cutter, and don’t kid me, you know what I’m talking about.|
a general term of derision, lit. ‘testicle-faced’.
|Trainspotting 20: No intros are made, but that’s the prerogative of my baw-faced icon, Mike Forrester.|
|(con. 1980s) Skagboys 84: Goagsie is a bit ay a baw-faced cunt.|
(Aus.) something amazing, excellent.
|Snake 40: Good, hard stuff. News ed said it was a ball-gripper of a story.|
|Corruption Officer [ebook] Ch. 28: An Officer orders an inmate to ‘open ya cock sucker (mouth) and stick out ya ball licker (tongue)!’.|
see separate entry.
to nag, to whinge; thus balls-aching adj., nagging, demanding; also balls-achingly adv.
|Prothalamium 78: And what high-fallutin’ cock it is, what balls-aching crap!|
|Sword of God 263: ‘It’d be better to stop this balls-aching and leave us alone or we’ll...’ He suddenly became embarrassed and sat down.|
|letter in Oz 4 3/4: I am not one to balls ache about what other people do, let alone print.|
|Spike Island (1981) 95: If only they knew the ball-aching enquiries involved.|
|Observer Rev. 7 May 20: I’m a balls-achingly, tooth-grindingly, butt-clenchingly loyal apparatchik.|
|Stuff 93: An eternity of utter, balls-aching, mind-crushing, soul-destroying boredom.|
(US) tough, masculine, courageous.
|Why Are We in Vietnam? 99: The [...] hills [...] rang with ball’s ass shooting.|
see ball-buster n. (2)
of a man, to have sexual intercourse.
|‘Brutality Report’ at LowTwelve.com [Internet] I dish out some hardcore sex as this dude pounds the crap out of some hooker’s pussy, shoving her knees up into her face while ball slapping her sweaty ass cheeks.|
see separate entry.
at full tilt, absolutely committed, all out; thus as adj.
|in War Paint 92: [aircraft nose art] ‘Balls Out’.|
|Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1969) 88: The trip [...] was a risk-all, balls-out plunge into the unknown.|
|CBer’s Handy Atlas/Dictionary 9/2: balls-out - An extreme effort. (‘He’s making a balls-out run for Motor City by nightfall.’).|
|Bat-21 135: This is a balls-out invasion.|
|Sl. U. 27: Michelle, we’re late. It’s a yellow light — balls out!|
|(con. 1986) Sweet Forever 94: He didn’t have the same kind of balls-out courage as the white cop.|
|Oz ser. 4 ep. 16 [TV script] You played balls-out in both those games.‘Famous Last Words’|
1. (orig. US) usu. of a woman, esp. a wife, a nag.
|et al. Stereotypes of Women in Power 148: Today, the Oxford dictionary tells us that the virago is a shrew, a scold, a ‘turbulent’ woman (‘ball-tearer’ in slang usage).|
|Good Girl Stripped Bare 249: The audience is unaccustomed to tough-talking women on air. The default setting is to label them a ‘bitch’, ‘ball-tearer’ or ‘strident’.|
2. anything spectacular or notably impressive.
|Never a Closing Door 46: You should have been there, mate. Had me an absolute ball-tearer of a time.|
|Epsom Downs 71: Then I sweep down, curving to the left, to the real ball-tearer, a vicious left-hand corner.|
|J. Dingwall Sun. Too Far Away 30: Phew, she’s a ball-tearer of a day.|
|Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 14: ‘That was a balltearer,’ the lank-haired Charlie Wheeler enthused.|
|G’DAY 63: When a player makes a good play it’s a ball-tearer, unless he’s one of the opposition, in which case it’s pure arse.|
|This Swirling Sphere 9 Oct. [Internet] First the single, next the album – which by all accounts is a ball-tearer and has some wise old men of the industry sitting up in surprise.|
|Bug (Aus.) 1 Apr. [Internet] A ball-tearer of an idea......Did you cop a gobful of that bullshit relationships piece that some tired old slapper wrote in one of Australia’s quality mainstream dailies or the Courier-Mail the other day?|
|Dan’s JP3 Page [Internet] They honeyed me with sweet words, and they said things like, uh, ‘we want you back, Sam, because this is going to be an absolute ball-tearer’, that’s a term I learnt in Melbourne, and I understand very well now.|
3. (Aus.) a physically demanding task.
|Epsom Downs 71: Then I sweep down, curving to the left, to the real ball-tearer, a vicious left-hand corner.|
|DSUE (8th edn) 43/1: 1960s.|
|Those Men Well Done 36: The rocket launcher was OK, but grenade throwing was what was commonly called a ball-tearer.|
4. (Aus.) a violent person.
|Chocolate Frog 25: I mean you bein’ pinched for street-fightin’ [...] yer must be a real litle ball-tearer.|
5. an admirable individual.
|Chappelli Laughs Again 7: As he reached me, he slapped me on the back and, without dropping the fag, said: ‘You fucken ball tearer mate!’.|
|Breaking Glass 91: Fucking ball-tearer, O’Hara. Best rover I ever had.|
6. (Aus.) a major problem, an exasperation.
|Sydney Morning Herald 26 Mar. 2/6: The result in the city shows that corruption is a ball-tearer in the city [AND].|
|(con. 1912) George Brown’s Schooldays 112: It’s all balls and bang-me-arse because nobody need ever drown because everybody can learn to float.|
|Beauty of World 110: Once more the Meteor fearlessly exposes... [...] The British People has the right to expect... ‘That's all balls and bang me arse,’ the editor interrupted.|
|Ballantyne’s Folly 105: Harrogate spoke heartily [...] ‘You're damn right. It's all balls and bang-me-arse’.|
|DSUE (8th edn).|
|Dict. of Invective (1991) 31: Ballocks, which is British for nonsense or rubbish, synonymous with balls or all balls, used on both sides of the Atlantic.|
|Halfhyde for the Queen 24: The admiral feels, and so do I, that cloak-and-dagger pretences are all balls and bang-me-arse.|
(US) in lit. or fig. use, a general intensifier.
|New Yorker 25 Dec. 99/3: [He] couldn’t stop himself from wondering how much his cold-as-balls breakup had contributed to her present fucked-upness.|
|Campus Sl. Nov. 1: as balls – to a great degree: It’s cold as balls today.|
|Players 396: It’s cold as balls outside now and I can see my breath crystallise in the air when I speak.|
|Safe as Houses 11: If you believed the sky, you would think it was warm outside, but it is cold. It is cold as balls.|
(orig. US) a general intensifer; everything; completely.
|(con. 1900s) in Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 763: Waltz the hall, remember my call. / Ruby can take it, balls and all.|
|(con. 1920s) Hoods (1953) 93: He fell for it, balls and all.|
|‘Lily the Pink’ [lyrics] Now Mrs. Brown, she had her problems, / Couldn’t satisfy at all; / So she drank she drank she drank six bottles of Compound --- / Now she takes them...balls and all.|
|Cunning Linguist (1973) 13: And it looked very very much like I was about to be tossed into the front lines again. Balls and all.|
|pcgame.com [Internet] Kiss is about balls and all action and it has a nice freaky plot to go along with it.|
(UK drugs) to hide drugs beneath the scrotum.
|Guardian Society 13 July [Internet] You balls it [i.e. a package of drugs] which means you just put it in between your balls.|
1. all-out, at maximum speed, with one’s greatest effort; as a general exhortative phr. but also as an adv. and adj.
|Adam M-1 79: That’s the attitude, Captain [...] No more anxieties. Balls to the wall!|
|Med 150: Balls to the wall for some big event, then spend the next two weeks with your thumb up your ass.|
|Rogue Warrior (1993) 265: We will train the same way we will fight—balls to the wall.|
|Robbers (2001) 64: Soon the Caddy was purring balls to the wall down the highway at eighty with the wind whistling over the windshield.|
|Chicken (2003) 179: Sunny’s is jive jumpin’ buzz humpin’ packed to the gills, tits to the wind and balls to the wall.|
|What Fire Cannot Burn 358: People want action [...] guns coughing, muzzles flashing [...] Balls-to-the-walls action.|
|Riptide Ultra-Glide 131: ‘The dude knows no limits!’ ‘Non-stop balls to the walls!’.|
2. (US campus) of a situation or period of time, tense or frantic.
|Campus Sl. Mar. 1: balls to the walls – a frantic time [...] From now till the end of the month, it’s balls to the walls!|
|Sl. and Sociability 41: Examples of rhyme from college slang are balls to the walls ‘a tense if not frantic time or situation that requires the ability to fight back’.|
3. (US campus) drinking with the intention of getting drunk.
|Campus Sl. Nov. 1: Out of control but enjoyable drunkenness: I’m going balls to the wall on Halloween.|
(US) at top speed.
|Dinky-Dau 139: Drop it and fly balls-to-the-wind to his assistance [HDAS].|
(Aus./US) to be very certain.
|From Here to Eternity 126: If you’d of decided to punch for Dynamite you would of got that rating. You can bet your balls.|
|(con. 1940s–60s) Snatches and Lays 51: You bet your balls he’ll ride her.‘The Road to Gundagai’ in|
|(con. 1941) Gunner 13: You can bet your balls it wasn’t her own crowd strung her up.|
|Gardens of Stone (1985) 223: You can bet your hairy balls they’ll be on the horn to the military police.|
|Magnificednt Strangers 190: Well, I hope it’s good, because you can bet your balls that Cuomo will make you pay for it.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.|
|Only Eagles Fly 209: Check that later... be bloody false, bet your balls on it.|
1. a feeling of intense sexual frustration, also attrib.; thus blue-balled, have blue balls, of a man, to be very sexually frustrated; cite 1956 used of a woman.
|Sl. of Venery.|
|in Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 619: B for blue balls in your groins grow.|
|in Erotic Muse (1992) 184: He had blue balls and the seven-year itch. / He had the clap and the syphilis too.|
|‘Dirty Dozens’ [lyrics] Now your mammy got the blue balls, your sister got the pox, / Grandma got a dirty rag tied right roun’ her cock.|
|(con. 1950s) Age of Rock 2 (1970) 102: He, of course, was always horny. (Blue balls).‘The Fifties’ in Eisen|
|Queens’ Vernacular 34: Know what the sure cure for blueballs is? Scratch them until they’re red!|
|Sl. U. 40: Harold said he has blue balls; he was with Priscilla last night.|
|Green River Rising 197: ‘Ten thousand years without a fuck.’ [...] ‘Believe it [...] Lotsa blue balls out there.’.|
|Winter of Frankie Machine (2007) 62: ‘I’ve got blue balls [...] They hurt.’ ‘When we’re engaged [...] I’ll jerk you off’.|
|Forget Her [manga] at www.incestquest.com [Internet] You don’t deserve any blue balls, hon.|
|Sellout (2016) 69: Dry-humping the TV [...] Punctuating his blue-balls roll call with increasingly violent thrusts.|
|Old Scores [ebook] ‘You feel blue-balled now, but you’ll be right after a cold shower’.|
2. a venereal bubo.
|in Erotic Muse (1992) 70: She gave me the shankers, likewise the runners too. / And in about ten days the blue balls was in view.|
|in Erotic Muse (1992) 407: She gave me the clap and the blue-balls too. / The clap doesn’t hurt but the blue-balls do.|
|in Erotic Muse (1992) 185: He had the clap and the seven-year itch. / He had the syph and the blue-balls too.|
|Playboy’s Book of Forbidden Words.|
|(con. 1910s) Livin’ the Blues 37: To avoid ‘blue balls,’ a dose, or sores with a strange broad you used either a Fish Skin or a thin rubber called a Merry Widow.|
3. (US) gonorrhoea.
|Screening the Blues (1968) 240: Now your mammy got the blue-ball, your sister got the pox.‘The Dirty Dozen’ in Oliver|
|Tropic of Capricorn (1964) 232: Before the week was out I had a discharge, and after that I figured it would be blueballs or rocks in the groin.|
|End As A Man 252: They were talking about syphilitic spots when Wintermine interrupted to describe an odd disease known as the blue balls.|
|in Erotic Muse (1992) 328: For I have been to Roble, and screwed a Roble whore, / And that’s why my balls are blue and the end of my cock is sore.|
|Erections, Ejaculations etc. 73: You’ve given out more blue balls than a silver Christmas tree in Disneyland.|
1. to make a great effort; to work very hard, esp. at a physically demanding task (cf. bust a nut under nut n.3 ).
|Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) 51: I’m busting my balls to be a wise guy.|
|in Sweet Daddy 14: Looking up to a broad and busting your balls keeping her happy.|
|Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 195: Why should I break my balls for some Jew for a lousy couple of bucks a week.|
|Tenants (1972) 107: How seriously? Like you have to break your balls to be a writer?|
|Choirboys (1976) 64: You think the sergeants care we bust our balls?|
|Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 126: I break my balls that you should not go short.West in|
|Miseducation of Ross O’Carroll-Kelly (2004) 207: The poor fockers have been breaking their balls in training.|
|Cherry 122: I’d just been following his lead. And he had about wiped out sliding down the berm. But nobody would bust his balls over it.|
2. to meet with disaster.
|(con. WWII)Locust Fire 106: Or, let’s not bust our balls on the mountains, men. It costs the government ten thousand dollars to turn a mammal into a bird [HDAS].|
1. (also break balls) to attack verbally, to persecute, to harass.
|All Thy Conquests 183: Don’t tell me how to drive and don’t break my balls.|
|(con. 1920s) Hoods (1953) 134: Let the shise in the legal department break his balls with it.|
|(con. 1950s) Unit Pride (1981) 54: Probably wrote that to bust my balls.|
|Essential Lenny Bruce 278: They didn’t really break your balls, but they hurt them.|
|Last Detail 3: C’mon, man, don’t break my balls, I’m just trying to get along.|
|Ringolevio 149: What do you do, you come here to bust my balls!|
|After Hours 60: Damn hoodlums [...] out in the street breakin’ balls.|
|(con. 1975) Times Square 327: ‘C’mon,’ Joe ranted. [...] ‘What’re ya breakin’ my balls for?’ the attendant shot back.|
|Skin Tight 97: Somebody who used to work for me is [. . .] trying to bust my balls.|
|Secret World of the Irish Male (1995) 228: ‘You breakin’ this guy’s balls here?’ he murmurs.|
|Curvy Lovebox 32: Decidin’ the universe. An’ bustin’ everyone’s balls.|
|Love Is a Racket 27: And the bartenders don’t break balls; they just pour drinks.|
|Angel of Montague Street (2004) 30: Domenic was annoyed, but he didn’t let it show. It was just Antonio, breaking his balls.|
|A Steady Rain I i: Shits bust my balls day and night with this pasta basta wap shit.|
|Gutted 86: The man who wants to bust my balls [...] for a murder I didn’t commit.|
|(con. 1973) Johnny Porno 87: I got a headache [...] and now you wanna break my balls about something else.|
|Alphaville (2011) 97: They were good guys, didn’t bust balls (mine or anyone else’s) unjustifiably.|
|The Force [ebook] ‘She bust balls about you and Sheila?’.|
2. to attack physically.
|Golden Spike 76: I’m going to bust your balls for you.|
|Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) 86: You going to bust his balls, huh Rocky?|
|in Great Shark Hunt (1980) 363: We’ll break their balls!|
|Hooligans (2003) 18: You came here to bust this Tagliani’s balls, right or wrong?|
|posting at MySpace.com 8 Oct. [Internet] Just let him know if he hurts you I’ll break his balls.|
3. (also break balls) to complain to someone, to nag someone.
|Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 7: Go tell ya troubles to Jesus and stop breakin my balls.|
|Memphis-Nam-Sweden 156: What the hell are you breaking balls about?|
|Song of the Silent Snow (1988) 69: All she wants to do is break my balls.|
|(con. 1986) Sweet Forever 106: Hey, Marcus, what are ya gonna do, bust my balls forever?|
|Guardian Guide 6–12 Nov. 4: The cantankerous boss who was always breaking his balls about how the mayor’s office is all over his arse [...] and whining on about improper arrest procedures.|
|Plainclothes Naked (2002) 162: If we’re going to work together, you gotta stop busting my balls.|
4. to exhaust sexually.
|(con. c.1900) King Blood (1989) 21: Nigger wenches [...] could bust the balls on a dozen big bucks and still be hankerin’ for more!|
5. to exhaust physically.
|Paco’s Story (1987) 109: Guadalcanal about broke my fucking balls.|
to castrate, lit. and fig.; thus deballed adj.
|Joint (1972) 222: Instead of dumping the sonovabitch after he de-balled you, you bring him around to bleed reproachfully all over me.letter 8 Sept. in|
|Mama Black Widow vi: Black men [...] who have been and who will be niggerized and deballed by the white power structure.|
|Awopbop. (1970) 206: They so deballsed it as to make it almost meaningless.|
|Stormy Weather 123: Deballed grizzly bears!|
(Aus.) to gamble, the implication being to lose.
|Drawing Dead [ebook] A dingy four walls [...] and a couple of felt tables where you did your balls.|
of a man, to fall obsessively in love with.
|DSUE (1984) 317/2: late C.19–20.|
(US) an impotent man [i.e. they have ‘dried up’].
|[||Voyage to Lethe n.p.: Subscribers Names Littleton Drycock, of the Inner-Temple].|
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 540: There’s plenty of old boys [...] in training to become bald-headed dryballs.Judgement Day in|
|State Ward 35: What, you a dryballs or sumpin’?|
to become excited or agitated.
|(con. 1944) Naked and Dead 616: You don’ wanta be gettin’ your balls in an uproar.|
|(con. 1920s) Hoods (1953) 131: Don’t get your balls in an uproar.|
|(con. WWII) Deathmakers 175: Now look, Grandpa [...] don’t get your balls in an uproar.|
|(con. 1969) Dispatches 201: I didn’t mean nothin’ [...] Don’t go gettin’ your balls in an uproar.|
|Little Boy Blue (1995) 207: That’s Hank . . . with his balls in an uproar.|
|Alice in La-La Land (1999) 121: Hey, what’re you getting your balls in an uproar, babe?|
|Sweet La-La Land (1999) 99: Take it easy [...] Don’t get your balls in an uproar.|
|Death Had a Yellow Thumb 122: ‘Don’t get your balls in an uproar.’ The veins in Noor’s brow began to show.|
to become angry or emotional (cf. get one’s tits in a twist under tit n.2 ; have one’s nuts in a knot under nuts n.2 ).
|(con. WWI) Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: balls in a knot. (to get) To lose one’s temper.|
|Collapsible Man 153: ‘Have you done any work lately?’ ‘Not much.’ ‘What's the matter? Have you still got your balls in a knot over your girl?’.|
|(con. 1941) Gunner 199: It’s no good gettin’ ya balls in a knot.|
|Blood in Maize Fields 62: Nothing has happened yet Mitchell, so don’t get your balls in a knot.|
|Bingo! 96: One of the screws [...] got his balls in a knot when somebody in the crowd swiped his cigar, and threatened blue murder if he didn't get it back.|
see get one’s ass in gear under gear n.
(orig. US) of a man, to achieve orgasm.
|‘I Useta Know Her’ [lyrics] Buzzin off the kamikaze that I consumed / Talk, kiss, grind tryin’ to get my balls off first / She said nigga can you take my draws off first.|
(Can./N.Z.) to have large testicles.
|Playboy’s Book of Forbidden Words 26: Balls Like a Scoutmaster. Said of a suspected homosexual, ‘He has balls like a scoutmaster.’.|
|DSUE (8th edn) 45/1: from ca. 1930.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 98: have balls on him like a scoutmaster Large and active balls, as scoutmasters were supposed to have from rampant homosexual predation, in the 1930s perception when the catchphrase was most popular.|
1. (US) to be in serious trouble.
|Pimp 287: I had played the hick coppers cheap and here I was with my balls in the fire.|
2. (US) to take a major risk.
|Death Wish 8: Alright, I’ll risk my balls in the fire ’cause you’re my friend.|
|Fado Alexandrino 215: I put my balls in the fire for you, I'm not going to do it again for anyone else.|
to be stupid but outspoken.
|Maledicta 1 (Summer) 14: If he is particularly ignorant or foolish, and proves it by talking loudly or a lot about things [...] he’s got his balls twisted, and his ass is sucking blue mud.|
(US) to be terrified.
|To Have and Have Not 170: Quit stalling, he said to himself...Where’re your balls now? Under my chin, I guess, he thought.|
|(con. WWII)In Spring the War Ended 29: He had his balls under his chin, and it took nerve for him to cross a room.|
to have someone at one’s mercy, at a complete disadvantage.
|Congressional Record 9 Apr. 3556/1: To use the language imputed to the President [Cleveland], ‘the banks have got the country by the leg’ [DA].|
|Smoke Bellew (1926) 167: You’ve sure got the world by the slack of it’s pants. They’s millions in it.|
|(con. 1918) Singing Soldiers 61: [illus.] Alabama Soldiers Has Got You By The Seat Of Your Pants.|
|(con. 1916) Her Privates We (1986) 151: Once we’re in the army, they’ve got us by the balls.|
|Gilt Kid 178: They got us by the cobblers.|
|There Ain’t No Justice 201: It looks like I got you by the knackers, don’t it?|
|Tropic of Capricorn (1964) 93: If you let them get you by the balls you’re an idiot.|
|What Makes Sammy Run? (1992) 140: They’ve got you by the balls.|
|Cry Tough! 84: They had him by the crotch. He was a banker. And he had the cash.|
|Sel. Letters (1992) 157: I had been wondering what you were doing & am sorry to hear life has had you by the balls.letter 26 Jan. in Thwaite|
|Ginger Man (1958) 303: ‘Tone, pride has you at its mercy.’ ‘Has me by the very ballocks.’.|
|Fowlers End (2001) 23: Make a bruise an’ the Society Prevention Cruelty to Animals ’as got you by the left tit.|
|No Red Ribbons (1968) 327: They think they’ve got me by the balls.|
|On the Yard (2002) 215: If he had us by the balls, he’d start pulling.|
|Black Short Story Anthol. (1972) 29: I knew I now had them by the ass.‘A Revolutionary Tale’ in King|
|Tenants (1972) 3: Levenspiel wants him out of the building so he can demolish it and put up another but Levenspiel he holds by the balls.|
|(con. 1960s) Whoreson 288: I guess you know we have got you by your balls.|
|Wooing of Beppo Tate 86: An’ ’member, I got you deeper’n deeper. I got you by the screws. You now a gal chaser an’ chicken thief.|
|No Beast So Fierce 150: You’ve got the world by the nuts.|
|Sharky’s Machine 341: We were right on it [...] Scardi’s connection here. We had it by the ass.|
|Breaking Out 332: We’ve got ’em by the bloody balls now.|
|Decadence in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 35: This geezer’s got me by the balls.|
|Brown’s Requiem 144: In a small way, you have life by the ass and I salute you.|
|Sat. Night at the Palace (1985) 34: She really has got you by the balls.|
|Traveller’s Tool 113: Parky’s got the old chat show game by the balls and he knows every wrinkle in the business.|
|Close Pursuit (1988) 151: ‘He wore a wire against his own.’ ‘Yeah. He did. They had him by the balls.’.|
|Boys from Binjiwunyawunya 15: He’s got me by the nuts.|
|Van (1998) 373: My Jaysis, tha’ young one has you by the bollix alrigh’.|
|Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) 155: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence has its saints by the balls.diary 26 June|
|Filth 15: The Chief Super’s got me by the bollocks.|
|Mr Blue 280: Oh man, for a twenty-three-year-old, state-raised convict, I had life by the balls.|
|Layer Cake 18: The important thing was we’d both got the other guy firmly by the bollocks.|
|‘The Twig’ Buffoonery.org 30 Jan. [Internet] What a shit week for me! I keep end up being annoyed and unmotivated. The krunk has me by the balls and it’s applying the pressure. Whatever that means.|
to treat very harshly, to punish comprehensively.
|in Erotic Muse (1992) 124: When news of this foul, dastardly deed / Reached fair Windsor Hall, / The king swore by the royal whore / He’d have the Frenchman’s balls.|
|Gardens of Stone (1985) 257: Where’s Wildman? If that sad sack is ghosting again, I’ll have his butt on a biscuit for breakfast.|
|One Police Plaza 193: The Powerhouse wanted his balls sautéed and left on the altar as penance.|
|Kid 63: Mention us again and [...] we’ll have your balls for a bow tie.‘8 p.m. and Raining When Robinson’ in|
|Trainspotting 102: Sheila’ll huv ma baws fir a game ay pool if ah cancel oot.|
|Soho 181: Christ on crutches, she’ll have your balls for breakfast!|
(US prison) to lust after.
|House of Slammers 3: Pittsburgh had swollen balls for Miss Amber.|
said of a man who rushes into situations without thinking.
|(con. WWII) Soldier Erect 87: Your sergeant’s got more balls than brains, if you ask me.|
|About Face (1991) 201: I had more balls than brains; I was a reckless buccaneer.|
|‘The Tribes’ Eunuch Archives [Internet] I warned him not to cross you. But, his balls were bigger than his brains and he made the stupid move.|
to astonish, to amaze.
|CUSS 76: Balls, knock your — off Astonished.et al.|
see under balls-up n.
1. (US black) a white man.
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 66: The fuzz (said to derive from the expression the man with the fuzzy balls, the man in power).|
2. (US) an expert, an accomplished person.
|Battle Cry (1964) 246: Now there’s a man with right fuzzy balls.|
see under sweat n.
a man, not always pej.
|(con. 1890s) Pictures in the Hallway 15: Get a holt of that oul’ balls, Tim Healey, who’s as good as yous can get at th’ moment, an’ lift him into th’ place of honour.|
(US gang) of a man, weak, worthless.
|Warriors (1966) 99: She called him a one-ball, half-cock, stupid man.|
(Uk black teen) scolding, pressurizing.
|Attack the Block [film script] 17: DENNIS Tia’s movin’ to you Moses. PEST She’s on your balls cuz!|
to make more emphatic, more effective.
(Aus.) to discomfit, to embarrass, to irritate.
|DSUE (8th edn) 939/2: since ca. 1930.|
(US) to agitate or excite someone.
|Pimp 52: It hadn’t been Oscar’s Bible that had put the dummy’s balls in the fire.|
(W.I.) to talk nonsense.
|Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.|
see sweat one’s arse off under sweat v.2
(US black) of a woman, to be sexually obsessed with a man.
|Ebonics Primer at www.dolemite.com [Internet] swingin Definition: when a dirty ass ho is wantin yo dick; she is ‘swingin’ from yo balls’ Example: That fuckin bitch is swinging from my bizz-alls and she gots to fuckin chill, cause I ain’t wantin any of her skank ass poontang.|
(US) completely, to the utmost.
|BUtterfield 8 sic capped up BU281: Most of my friends, my men friends, they say, ‘I was stewed to the balls last night’.|
|Castle Keep (1966) 164: We’re fed up to the balls with spies.|
|Cop Stories 43: He follows him around until he catches Mack stewed to the balls.|
|Long Time Gone 208: Father McBride, stewed to the balls, used to absolve him.|
used as a threat of violence, e.g. try that again and I’ll wear...
|Getting Even 16: I’ll have your balls for a necktie.|
|DSUE (8th edn) 1313/2: [...] since ca. 1920.|