1. (also ballyx, bollax) testicles.
|[||Gloss. inVocab. I 283/2: Testiculi, beallucas].|
|Travels (translation) There is so grete hete [...] in that Ile that for the grete distress of the hete mennes balokkes hangen doun to here knees, for the gret dissolucioun of the body.|
|Towneley Mysteries ‘Play of the Dice’ line 166: I haue brysten both my balok-stones.|
|Poems (1932) 9: Thow hes na breik to latt thy bollokis gyngill; Beg the ane club, fo, baird, thow sall go naikit.‘Flyting of Dunbar & Kennedie’ in Mackenzie|
|Satyre of Thrie Estaits II (1604) 145: Marie, on ane Sow, Sir scho hes sworne that scho sall sla me, Or ellis byte baith my ballocks fra me.|
|Vow Breaker IV i: You were borne under Caster, and Bollux then, for you had two children before you weare married.|
|Merry Passages and Jeasts No. 487 134: He is such an Insatiable wenching knave, that if his Ballocks were made of Brasse Hee’d Breake them.|
|Works (1999) 251: The good Lady Sandys burst into laughter / To see how the Ballocks came wobbling after.‘Seigneur Dildo’ in|
|‘Ballad on Betty Felton’ in Court Satires of the Restoration (1976) 48: She’s always attended with ballocks and tarse, / Sweet Candish in cunt and bold Frank at her arse.|
|Poems (1752) 82: ’Tis all the World to twenty Pound / His Ball---s are the Cause.‘On Mris. F-----n’|
|Essay on Woman 19: Prick, Cunt and Bollocks in Convulsions hurl’d / And now a Hymen burst, and now a world.|
|Collection of Songs (1788) 39: He searched the Divan till he found out a Man / Whose Ballocks were heavy and hairy.‘The Great Plenipotentiary’|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Bullocks — (cant) — for testicles.|
|‘The Brummagh an Waler’ Munster-Man’s Bothabue 7: He [a horse] has a good stout pair of B----x.|
|‘Madgie Cam to My Bed-stock’ in(1979) 134: Cunt it was the sowen-pat [i.e. gruel pot], / An’ pintle was the ladle; / Ballocks were the serving-men / That waited at the table.|
|‘The Ballet Girl’ in Fal-Lal Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 27: A policeman came and said to me, / ‘You mustn’t show these frolics; / It isn’t right that you should thus / Expose to all your [blank space]’.|
|‘The Queen’s Wedding’ Gentleman’s Spicey Songster 34: They said your hat was shocking bad, / and ’mongst other lying frolics, / You had no coat, nor waistcoat, breeches, / nor a shirt, nor pair of ...|
|The C — , The Open C — [broadside] Her black hair bristl'd, her white arse roll'd, / And rattl'd about my boll—ks so cold.|
|in Stories the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell (1994) 160: The Prince of Love, of which I spoke yesterday, alluding to the ‘ramrod and ballocks,’ even now larger, stiff and rising.|
|‘Bear-Ass Ride’ Rakish Rhymer (1917) 153: Into the ring there came a p—k, as big as any bull, / With bollocks like a hogshead beneath the waving wool.|
|‘The Reverie’ in Pearl 4 Oct. 30: My bollox hanging down below, / And banging ’gainst her arse of snow.|
|My Secret Life (1966) I 63: Attempting to put my hand up her clothes, sometimes succeeding, pulling out my ballocks, and never ceasing until the cook came home.|
|Priapeia Ep. xiii 15: I stand in the open air [...] my ballocks exposed to view.|
|Bawdy N.Y. State MS. n.p.: Then his bollix swung around like the weight of a clock, / Much lower I think than the head of his cock.|
|Sel. Letters (1975) 181: Feeling your fingers fondling and tickling my ballocks or stuck up in my behind.letter 2 Dec. to Nora Barnacle in Ellman|
|Hole in the Elephant’s Bottom in (1979) 111: The elephant’s bollocks hang low / And part of my job is to knot ’em.|
|in Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) I 571: My name is Joe Taylor, my prick is a whaler, / My ballyx weigh ninety-four pound.|
|in Limerick (1953) 240: There was an old person of Gosham / Who took out his ballocks to wash ’em.|
|‘I Don’t Want To Be A Soldier’ in Kiss Me Goodnight, Sgt.-Major (1973) 19: Don’t want a bullet up me arsehole, / Don’t want me bollocks shot off.|
|in Limerick (1953) 301: A patrician young fellow named Lear / Used to wash off his bollox with beer. / Said he, ‘By the gods, / This is good for the cods’.|
|Sel. Letters (1992) 35: I awoke feeling the thumb of God in the small of my ballocks.letter 6 July in Thwaite|
|(con. c.1912) in Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 586: Prick and Ballyx ran a race / Up and down a hairy place.|
|Call Me When the Cross Turns Over (1958) 72: I’ll come after the quacks have had a shot at me. They can cut me about [...] long as they leave me my pants and bolicks.|
|(con. 1940s) Borstal Boy 110: He would catch him by the ballocks and twist and pull on them.|
|Goodbye to The Hill (1966) 78: ‘I nearly smashed me testicles.’ [...] ‘Me testicles, me ballocks,’ he said, a pain coming into his face.|
|Sir, You Bastard 118: You’re involved way over your ballocks.|
|Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 22: A good old-fashioned, honest-to-God boot up the bollocks!|
|Earthly Powers 31: Did you ever meet [...] Chunky, the man with the pineapple ballocks.|
|Sky Ray Lolly 55: Last week I put / my bollocks through a mangle, and loved it.|
|(con. 1930s) Emerald Square 115: My cousin Paddy [...] endorsed my opinion by informing me that ‘his bollix is an unmerciful size’.|
|Commitments 37: I’d bite your bollix off yeh if yeh went near me, yeh spotty fuck, yeh.|
|Snapper 109: I’d chop his bollix – excuse me, Sharon – off. I would.|
|Yes We have No 121: They may have cut off my bollocks [...] but my dick doesn’t know that yet.|
|Indep. Rev. 11 Sept. 9: Howya, Bukes! I’ll buke your bleedin’ bollix in!|
|Grits 70: A nirly froze me fuckin bollax off yesterdey.|
|Observer Mag. 27 Nov. 10: I ran out with a towel around my bollocks.|
2. a parson.
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Ballocks [...] a Vulgar nick name for a Parson.|
|,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: A rude fellow meeting a curate, mistook him for a rector; and accosted him with the vulgar appellation of, Bol---ks the rector. No, Sir, answered he, only Cods the curate, at your service.|
3. a mess.
|N.Y. Supreme Court Appeal Book 149: Do you know how you came to make that mistake on that memorandum [...] how Mr. Washington E. Hall explained to you how he made it when he said to you, ‘Oh, you made a bollix of it’ [...]?|
|(con. 1940s) Confessions 160: He was so blind drunk that he nearly made a bollocks of the entire proceedings.|
4. (also bollixing) rubbish, nonsense [? developed f. sense 1 on the premise that sermonizing is, de facto, nonsense].
|Digger Dialects 12: bollocks (n. or adj.) — Absurd; an absurdity.|
|(con. WWI) Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: bollocks. Absurd, an absurdity; an embellishment of ‘balls’ (the testicles) used derisively.|
|Sel. Letters (1981) 390: If you want to see my correspondence with Cape on that bollixing will send it to you.letter 24 May in Baker|
|letter 18 June in Leader (2000) 284: God did you see that pillar of crap-smoke? Utter bollok sutter boll.|
|(con. 1940s) Borstal Boy 164: [They] thought it was all ballocks.|
|Owning Up (1974) 157: Any other food, soup for instance or cheese, came under the heading of ‘pretentious bollocks’.|
|Norman’s London 13: Well why don’tcha write my story, it would be betta than all that bollox yer bin writin’.|
|Sir, You Bastard 224: That’s ballocks [...] I apply myself.|
|Train to Hell 61: We talked about my character’s motivation and all that bollocks.|
|Conversations on a Homecoming (1986) 43: Now it’s all bollocks talk about Protestants.|
|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.|
|Van (1998) 371: I think, by my faith, it’s a load o’ bollix.|
|Guardian Sport 18 Sept. 16: You mean someone actually got paid for writing all that boring bollox.|
|Indep. on Sun. Rev. 21 Feb. 6: Pushing things all around just so as you can talk this ballocks.|
|Grits 31: Ah, a dunno; it’s all bollox anyway.|
|A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun 116: We weren’t taking any bollocks.|
|Brooklyn Noir 311: I never heard such bollix in me life.‘Fade To . . . Brooklyn’ in|
|Killer Tune (2008) 82: Your little article or whatever the bollocks you were doing.|
|Sun. Times Mag. 19 Dec. 12/4: This ‘10 more shopping days to go’ bollocks is such a wind-up.|
|Out of Bounds (2017) 139: The usual. Analysing evidence from fires [...] The usual bollocks.|
5. (also ballicks) a fool, a general term of abuse; one who is performing or talking ballocks (cf. ballock n. (2)).
|Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 272: I’m a ballocks, he said, shaking his head in despair.|
|Ulysses 724: Didnt he look a balmy ballocks.|
|(con. 1940s) Confessions 116: If they got it up for me too much, I’d make a bollocks of them.|
|Goodbye to The Hill (1966) 43: Any ballocks can be a carpenter or a bricklayer.|
|Scully 150: Shove off, bollocks.|
|(con. 1930s) Sinking of the Kenbane Head 61: It’s all right for a ballicks like him [...] but you’ve got brains.|
|After the Wake 79: You are a dying old bollocks.‘The Catacombs’ in|
|Boys from the Blackstuff (1985) [TV script] 34: Why don’t you buy a banner, bollocks?‘Jobs for the Boys’|
|No Surrender 33: And don’t call me bollocks!|
|Commitments 95: Come here, you bollox. There’s only one E in Heroin.|
|Secret World of the Irish Male (1995) 20: You scum-sucking sweaty-buttocked foul breathed bandy-legged ballocks.|
|Breakfast on Pluto 82: Do him! Do him, Kerr, you bollocks you!|
|Guardian G2 11 Aug. 22: Colourful blagger-speak like [...] ‘a silly-bollocks’.|
|Layer Cake 148: ‘What, killin ’em?’ ‘No, silly bollocks.’.|
|Viva La Madness 92: Silly-bollocks-secret-squirrel Roy? [...] Roy’s a turn — a tonic for the troops.|
6. a person, often used affectionately.
|Ulysses 280: Who’s the old ballocks you were talking to?|
|Now You Know 247: The silly bollocks has knocked Jacqui’s handbag off the desk.|
|Sudden Times 15: In your pyjamas talking to some bollacks about the phallus.|
|Layer Cake 79: I really do like the old bollocks for all his faults.|
7. (orig. Irish) an unpleasant person; esp. as (right) old bollix.
|Sel. Letters (1992) 172: I know I am a ballocks, not writing all this time.letter 10 July in Thwaite|
|(con. 1940s) Borstal Boy 21: Now, you poxy looking ballocks. [Ibid.] 86: Sucking up to bullying big bollixes.|
|Da (1981) Act I: You’re right son, a bollix, that’s what he is.|
|Commitments 15: Tha’ bollix ratted on us, d’yis remember?|
|Ship Inspector 210: A cluster of small white stars splattered onto the windscreen. ‘My brand new windscreen. The little bolixes.’.|
|The Weir 39: You’re a bollocks.|
|Guardian 2 Feb. 16: The wee bollix had been asking for it [...] He’d been warned often enough.|
|Cartoon City 165: I have decided to personally handle blowing the head off the bolix, if that’s OK with you.|
|Dead Long Enough 100: Taxi! Taxi, ya bollix!|
8. courage, vigour.
|Sounds 24 Jan. n.p.: He thought it (a recording) needed more bollocks [KH].|
|Guardian G2 29 July 5: You’ve got to have real bollocks if you’re a girl trying to make your way in this game.|
|Indep. on Sun. Rev. 9 Dec. 14/3: If you’ve got the bollocks to do that, come and fuckin’ see me.|
|Raiders 121: We all hoped that he would have the bollocks to keep his mouth shut.|
9. used as an intensifier in phrs.
|in That Was Business, This Is Personal 13: Everyone still manages to laugh and joke. You laugh your bollocks off . . . nervous release of some kind I suppose.|
10. used as a direct, pej. term of address.
|Conversations on a Homecoming (1986) 9: junior Well, bolix!|
|Awaydays 65: Ay, bollocks, I’m talking to you!|
11. constr. with the, something superlative.
|Viva La Madness 47: Is this the bollocks or what, Roy? [...] Nobody giving ya a moment’s grief.|
|(con. 1980s) Skagboys 238: Orwell was the bollocks [...] the cunt ain’t ever been equalled.|
12. see dog’s ballocks n.
any overbearingly unpleasant person or circumstance.
|Lowspeak 19: Ballocks workers – (US) 1. something very difficult. 2. a woman who deprives a man of his virility.|
a bow-legged man.
|DSUE (1984).Loud Report in|
a self-important man.
|DSUE (8th edn) 75/1: 1954.|
|(con. 1945) Touch and Go 170: Does big balls here do the fighting for you?|
1. to make the utmost effort.
|Guardian G2 11 Nov. 22: I done my bollocks last year, you know what I mean. I went to every fucking single one [...] I was out in Slovakia and all that bollocks.|
2. to bet heavily; to lose one’s money.
|Dealer’s Choice 14: Look on the bright side boys, you're not gonna do your bollocks for another week.|
|Viva La Madness 362: Spendthrift ruffians [...] doing their bollocks at the racetrack.|
a phr. used to describe a male fool.
to be deserving of praise, commendation, approval by one’s fellows; can feasibly be used of a woman.
|DSUE (8th edn) 44: C.20.|
see have someone/something by the balls under balls n.
a general intensifier, usu. negating the previous statement; note ad hoc vars.
|Front Page Act III: walter whispering: Shut up! hildy: On my pratt in a monkey cage!|
|Sudden 73: ‘Yeah, in my belt,’ sneered the miner.|
|Children of the Rainbow 112: ‘It’s the highest notion in my head to be a nun.’ ‘You are in your tail-board!’ I said.|
|(con. 1940s) Confessions 20: I will in my bollocks, I thought to myself.|
|Goodbye to The Hill (1966) 176: ‘Tell her you’re a bumboy,’ I said [...] ‘I will in me ballocks tell her I’m a queer.’.|
|A Life (1981) Act II: dolly: Don’t I know? I was there. kearns: You were in me boot. You were at home in your pram.|
|Commitments 144: Do you paint, Jimmy? – I do in me bollix. [Ibid.] 163: We’ll need two guitars. – We will in our arses, said Outspan. – I’ll use both hands.|
|(con. 1916) A Star Called Henry (2000) 106: Did you pay your fare? I asked him. – We did in our arses, he said.|
|Everyday Eng. and Sl. [Internet] I will in me ring (phr): certainly not! / I am in me wick (phr): you must be joking!|
|Hell on Hoe Street 7: Yeah course it ain’t. On the pope’s bollocks.|
(Irish) to beat severely.
|The Joy (2015) [ebook] The only excuse they need to knock the bollix out of you is that you’re from Dublin.|
(Irish) not care in any way.
|The Joy (2015) [ebook] ‘I don’t give a bollix if they put me in the pad’.|
a dismissive excl.
|Snapper 96: You got it wrong, Jim. – Wrong me bollix! – Yeh have, I swear. – Me bollix.|
|Van (1998) 616: I didn’t say annythin’, said Bimbo. – Me bollix, said Jimmy Sr, just over his breath.|
|(con. 1970s) Pictures in my Head 79: Artist, me bollocks. The only thing you can draw is the dole.|