Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bolshie adj.

also bolshy
[bolshie n.]

1. left-wing, spec. communist.

[UK]Hull Dly Mail 15 Aug. 5/3: Tired of Bolshy Prattle [...] Reports from Kieff [sic] show that a remarkable revoulsion against the ‘Bolshies’ is becoming apparent.
[UK]Hull Dly Mail 24 Aug. 3/3: [picture caption] The Soviet Flag Flies gaily at Hull; What ‘Bolshy’ Sailors Really Look Like.
[UK]E. Jervis 25 Years in Six Prisons 257: He declared that he was a Russian and an ally of ours, Russia not having gone ‘Bolshy’ at that time.
H.G. Wells Autocracy Mr Parham 296: I tell you, it’s not only street-corner boys and Bolshie agitators who are going against the wall .
[UK]D.L. Sayers Have His Carcase 193: I suppose you believe his Bolshie story.
[NZ]F. Sargeson ‘That Summer’ in Coll. Stories (1965) 153: The both of them talked politics and the cook sounded a good deal more bolshy than Mr Clegg was.
[UK](con. 1937) R. Westerby Mad in Pursuit 214: He got the disease – that’s what it is, you know, Palmer – went Bolshie. [Ibid.] 220: Waggling herself all over town with a pack of bolshie idiots.
[UK](con. 1930s) J. Healy Death of an Irish Town 23: Many young men joined up and the first were the sons of ‘Bolshie families’.
[UK]P. Barnes Ruling Class I iv: Destroying property ... all men equal ... My God, Claire, he’s not only mad, he’s Bolshie.
[UK]P. Fordham Inside the Und. 110: Mafia, which seems to have taken the place of yellow perils, bolshie scares and nameless orgies.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 3 Aug. 1: The bolshy residents of North London.
[UK]I. Welsh Glue 18: He’d played right into that Bolshie cunt Ewart’s hands.

2. uncooperative, obstructive, subversive.

[UK]D.H. Lawrence letter ? 15 Nov. in Coll. Letters (1962) I 565: The railway people, when one travels, seem rather independent and Bolshy.
[UK]Aberdeen jrnl 30 May 9/4: He suggested [...] labour-saving devices [...] for the benfit of the housewife. If you have contented wives you will see no ‘Bolshy’ husbands.
[UK]A. Morrison letter in Morrison Things My Mother Never Told Me (2002) 196: Those doctors in Brum are exploiting you [...] Have it out with them right away. It’s not being bolshy.
[UK]C. Harris Death of a Barrow Boy 85: If he threw the term ‘bolshie’ about the Mess as if it had meaning – he was comic relief.
[UK]P. Theroux Family Arsenal 159: They think we’re being a bit bolshie.
[UK]T. Blacker Fixx 281: The bolshy pinched faces of underpaid nurses and teachers.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Real Life 6 June 3: His bolshy missus.
[UK]Observer Rev. 24 Oct. 12: I was probably a bolshie little kid.
[UK]Guardian 10 Feb. 5: She denied claims [...] that the group had been ‘bolshie’ in their public appearances.
[UK]B. Hare Urban Grimshaw 55: Two big, bolshy blokes.
[UK]Eve. Standard 20 Dec. 15/1: Bolshie. A ball-breaker. Cold and calculating. These are the insults frequently flung at ambitious females.
[UK]Guardian G2 3 July 6/3: They recall elements of Wu-Tang Clan [...] flashy, bolshy bravado.
[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 278: The Red Rattler [is] the sort of bolshie collective Prue MacSween would accuse me of belonging to Theatre .