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.|
|Myrrour of the Worlde n.p.: [T]hey [i.e. beavers] byte wyth their teeth their owne genytoirs or ballocks.|
|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|
|Seynge of Uryns n.p.: [L]et her take the ballockes of a Barowe or of a Boore and dry them well and make powder therof & let her drynke therof with wyne.|
|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.|
|Booke of hauking, huntyng and fysshyng : Also geue her the hitballockes of a bucke as hote as they be kut out.|
|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.|
|Herbal n.p.: Whyte hares coddes / or in other more vnmanerly speche / hares ballockes.|
|Niewe Herball n.p.: [T]he floures of Fooles ballockes or Cuckowes Orchis: of colour sometimes white, & sometimes purple, or redde, or a light skie colour.|
|(con. 13th cent.)De proprietatibus rerum 61: Ye ballock stones, that are called Tefticuli in Latine, the diminutiue of Testis witnesse.|
|Worlde of Wordes n.p.: Coglia, a mans ballocks.|
|Loves Martyr 94: Hares ballockes, or great Orchis, Prouoketh Venus.|
|Epigrams and satyrs n.p.: Who lisping chides him with words finicall, / Thirra remoue your Ballocks from my Stall.|
|Herball 219: [S]ome call them Sweet Ballocks, sweet Cods, sweet Cullions.|
|Antiquities of Canterbury 347: Stour-street, at the other against the Chapell-Church-yard, to this day remembred by the name of Ballock-lane.|
|[||Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) I Bk II 229: Others did grow in the matter of ballocks so enormously, that three of them would well fill a sack.(trans.)|
|‘In Laudis Navis Geminæ’ in Carpenter Verse in English from Tudor & Stuart Eng. (2003) 396: [of a ship] Cause her Bottoms hung down like Bollucks, / He named her Castor and Pollux.|
|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.|
|Spirit of Irish Wit 143: ‘Crupper your B— you old son of a b—h,’ answered the nymph.|
|‘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.|
|‘Experiences of a Cunt Philosopher’ in Randiana 32: Fearing to frighten Lucy [...] I readjusted my bollocks.|
|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.|
|Nocturnal Meeting 79: How funny his bollocks felt rolling about on my diaphragm.|
|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.|
|Glorious Heresies 36: ‘[W]here I can find a dealer who’s not up to his bollocks in the same swamp I was just fucked out of?’.|
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’ [...]?|
|Actionable Offenses ‘Michael Casey Exhibiting His Panorama’ (2007) [cylinder recording ENHS 30193] ‘Ladies and Gintlemen, I take pleasure tonight in intertroducing to you Mister Michael Jeremiar Casey, the great American explorer from New York City. He has tonight that he’s going to show you ther, uh, panny-murra, pa-, panny-ma, panny-’ ‘Aw, sit down, you’re making a bollocks o’ the whole damn business’.|
|(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.|
|What Do You Reckon (1997) [ebook] [I]f you were curious about some of the bollocks that goes on in the glitzy, glamour world of TV commercials [etc].‘TV Ads’ in|
|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.|
|‘Nothing You Can Do’ in ThugLit Mar. [ebook] ‘I know a dozen pubs better’n this one [...] Karneval…bollocks’.|
|Glorious Heresies 106: ‘It’s [i.e. a piece of music] awful,’ he said. ‘Lazy, simple bollocks’.|
|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.|
|Billy Rags [ebook] ‘Tell silly ballocks to put it [i.e. a jacket] on himself’.|
|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.|
|Class Act [ebook] ‘That bollocks, he’s useless’.|
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!|
|Glorious Heresies 49: ‘Dirty little bollocks,’ she said.|
|Rules of Revelation 97: [T]he killer wasn’t excited by his crimes because it felt bad to be acting the bollocks.|
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?|
|ThugLit Feb. [ebook] [M]y boss [...] told me he had a couple of big-balls hitmen coming to town.‘Brass’ in|
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. 🌐 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.|
|Hitmen 230: ‘I put it into first [gear]’ [...] ‘You did in your bollix put it into first, you fucking mongo, ye!’.|
(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.|