1. [16C+] the testicles; occas. in sing.
2. [17C; 1950s–60s] (US) the female breasts.
3. [late 19C+] courage, bravery; supposedly quintessential male qualities, but now as often applied to women.
4. [20C+] rubbish, nonsense.
5. [1930s–40s] (orig. US) nothing, absolute zero.
6. [1930s+] (US) constr. with the, a superlative, either good or bad according to context.
7. [1950s+] substance, power, strength.
8. [1950s+] synon. with arse n., e.g. work one’s balls off, put one’s balls on the line.
9. [1960s+] effrontery, gall, audacity.
10. [2000s] (US black) something excellent, wonderful; one’s preference [on bad = good model].
11. see balls-up n.
[1950s+] weak, emasculated; thus ball-less wonder n., an especially weak individual.
1. [1960s+] tough, courageous; despite ety., used of either gender.
2. [1990s+] absurd, ridiculous.
[late 19C+] the scrotum; also as a term of abuse.
see separate entries.
see separate entries.
[1960s] (US) a man who boasts, prob. groundlessly, of his sexual prowess.
1. [1960s+] a dominating woman who ‘emasculates’ her partner, usu. a husband.
2. [1960s+] anything that is excessively hard or frustrating, or impressive; thus ball-crushing adj.
3. [1980s+] a sexually voracious woman who exhausts her partner’s virility.
[1960s+] (US) a nagging, domineering or demanding woman.
[1990s+] a general term of derision, lit. ‘testicle-faced’.
[1970s+] (Aus.) something amazing, excellent.
[2010s] the tongue.
see separate entry.
[20C+] to nag, to whinge; thus balls-aching adj., nagging, demanding; also balls-achingly adv.
[1960s+] (US) tough, masculine, courageous.
see ball-buster n. (2)
[1990s+] of a man, to have sexual intercourse.
see separate entry.
[1940s+] at full tilt, absolutely committed, all out; thus as adj.
1. [1950s+] (orig. US) usu. of a woman, esp. a wife, a nag.
2. [1950s+] anything spectacular or notably impressive.
3. [1960s+] (Aus.) a physically demanding task.
4. [1970s] (Aus.) a violent person.
5. an admirable individual.
6. [1980s] (Aus.) a major problem, an exasperation.
[2000s+] (US) in lit. or fig. use, a general intensifier.
[20C+] (orig. US) a general intensifer; everything; completely.
[2000s] (UK drugs) to hide drugs beneath the scrotum.
1. [1960s+] all-out, at maximum speed, with one’s greatest effort; as a general exhortative phr. but also as an adv. and adj.
2. [1970s+] (US campus) of a situation or period of time, tense or frantic.
3. [2000s] (US campus) drinking with the intention of getting drunk.
[1980s+] (US) at top speed.
[1940s–80s] (Aus./US) to be very certain.
1. [1910s+] a feeling of intense sexual frustration, also attrib.; thus have blue balls, of a man, to be very sexually frustrated; cite 1956 used of a woman.
2. [1920s+] a venereal bubo.
3. [1920s+] (US) gonorrhoea.
1. to make a great effort; to work very hard, esp. at a physically demanding task (cf. bust a nut under nut n.3 ).
2. to meet with disaster.
1. (also break balls) to attack verbally, to persecute, to harass.
2. to attack physically.
3. (also break balls) to complain to someone, to nag someone.
4. to exhaust sexually.
5. to exhaust physically.
[1950s+] to castrate, lit. and fig.; thus deballed adj.
[2010s] (Aus.) to gamble, the implication being to lose.
[late 19C+] of a man, to fall obsessively in love with.
[1920s–40s] (US) an impotent man [i.e. they have ‘dried up’].
[1910s+] to become excited or agitated.
[1910s+] 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 ).
see get one’s ass in gear under gear n.
[1970s+] (orig. US) of a man, to achieve orgasm.
[1930s+] (Can./N.Z.) to have large testicles.
1. [1960s] (US) to be in serious trouble.
2. [1970s+] (US) to take a major risk.
[1970s] to be stupid but outspoken.
[1930s–60s] (US) to be terrified.
[late 19C+] to have someone at one’s mercy, at a complete disadvantage.
[1960s+] to treat very harshly, to punish comprehensively.
[1980s+] (US prison) to lust after.
[1940s+] said of a man who rushes into situations without thinking.
[1960s+] to astonish, to amaze.
see under balls-up n.
1. (US black) a white man.
2. (US) an expert, an accomplished person.
see under sweat n.
[1940s] a man, not always pej.
[1960s] (US gang) of a man, weak, worthless.
[2000s+] (Uk black teen) scolding, pressurizing.
[1950s+] to make more emphatic, more effective.
[1930s+] (Aus.) to discomfit, to embarrass, to irritate.
[1960s] (US) to agitate or excite someone.
[20C+] (W.I.) to talk nonsense.
see sweat one’s arse off under sweat v.2
[2000s] (US black) of a woman, to be sexually obsessed with a man.
[1930s+] (US) completely, to the utmost.
[1920s+] used as a threat of violence, e.g. try that again and I’ll wear...