Green’s Dictionary of Slang

ballock n.

also bollock
[OE beallucas, itself Teutonic root ball-, thus more immediately ext. of balls n. (1); ballock(s) meant testicle(s) f. 11C but remained SE until late 18C; it appears in Bailey’s Universal Etymological English Dict. in all editions f. 1721–1800 but was not included in Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary, which drew heavily on Bailey’s word-list, in 1755; one must thus assume that the word was passing then from polite use; it was definitely slang by 1800 and appears as such in Grose (1788, 1796) though, oddly, in neither Grose (1785), Hotten nor F&H; thus Ballock Hall, 17C home of Adam & Lucy Loftus, and known for its unsavoury reputation; note single use as a term of affection in Urquhart, The Complete Works of Rabelais (1653): ‘I must gripe thee, my ballock, till thy back crack with it’]

1. a testicle; usu. in pl. (for all pl. cits. see ballocks n. (1)).

[Gloss. in Wright Vocab. I 283/2: Testiculi, beallucas].
[UK]Rochester ‘A Ramble in St James’s Park’ in Works (1757) I 17: I was content to serve you up / My Ballock full, for your Grace-Cup.
[UK]‘Capt. Samuel Cock’ Voyage to Lethe 28: The Gulf of Venus [...] built on the Terra Firma of Buttock-Land, by some Geographers call’d Ballock-Land.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Crissie 100: ‘Taike it ’ome and let ’er play with it [...] Mister Ballock!’.
[UK]‘J.H. Ross’ Mint (1955) 141: [He] shifted his other hand to that fatal ‘bollock-hold’ of our impolite wrestling code.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 291: A pretty young girl Eskimo / Thought it very patriotic to sew / Ballock-warmers for those.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Confessions 61: He whispered under his breath that he’d only got one bollock.
[UK]Guardian G2 14 July 5: Testicle terrine followed by grilled gonad and rounded off with bollock brulee.
[UK]J. Hawes Dead Long Enough 194: You asked her for a kiss, asked like a bollockless twat.
[Aus]Benjamin & Pearl Limericks Down Under 57: At the height of his lapse / He forgot about traps, / One sprang. He came home less a bollock.

2. (also bollicky) a general term of abuse.

[UK]K. Amis letter 31 Dec. in Leader (2000) 32: You flaring ballock you.
[UK]Flame : a Life on the Game 93: Oh, you stupid bollock.
[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 205: You bastard! You great, hairy bollock. You sleaze-bag. You bloody great drongo.
[Ire]P. Boland Tales from a City Farmyard 144: Thereafter we changed his name from ‘the gent’ to ‘old bollicky’.
[Ire](con. 1916) R. Doyle A Star Called Henry (2000) 173: Hey there, Bollicky!

3. (UK society) a ball (hunt, charity etc) [pun on balls n. (1)].

[UK]Barr & York Sloane Ranger Hbk 158: bollock n. Ball, as in hunt bollock, charity bollock.

In compounds

ballock-hair (n.)

a male pubic hair.

[Scot]I. Rankin Wolfman 118: You’re about a bollock-hair’s breadth away from an official reprimand.
ballock snot (n.) (also bollock snot) [SE snot]


[UK]M. Manning Get Your Cock Out 27: Buggering, fur sliding, wanking, being noshed, shooting out pint after pint of bollock snot.

In phrases

drop a ballock (v.) (also drop a bollock)

to make a mistake, to blunder.

[UK]‘J.H. Ross’ Mint (1955) 49: ‘Christ,’ he called to us after, ‘I didn’t half drop a bollock then. It was old man Jim himself.’.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 269: This [...] is where he dropped a ballock.
[UK]‘Derek Raymond’ He Died with His Eyes Open 124: If Bowman dropped a bollock, he could usually blame someone under him.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 27 Aug. 10: Your grandad will drop a bollock if he finds out you’re courting a Paki.
OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. 🌐 leper adj. A general insult. Usually in relation to a lack of intelligence/ability – after someone drops a bollock.
M. Hyde in Guardian 9 June 🌐 A giant message reading: ‘You’re all going to drop a complete bollock with this youth turnout stuff’.