"Bollocks" /ˈbɒləks/ is a word of Anglo-Saxon origin, meaning "testicles". The word is often used figuratively in British English, as a noun to mean "nonsense", an expletive following a minor accident or misfortune, or an adjective to mean "poor quality" or "useless". Similarly, the common phrases "Bollocks to this!" or "That's a load of old bollocks" generally indicate contempt for a certain task, subject or opinion. Conversely, the word also figures in idiomatic phrases such as "the dog's bollocks", "top bollock(s)", or more simply "the bollocks" (as opposed to just "bollocks"), which will refer to something which is admired, approved of or well-respected.



The word has a long and distinguished history, with the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) giving examples of its usage dating back to the 13th century. One of the early references is John Wycliffe bible (1382), Leviticus xxii, 24: "Al beeste, that ... kitt and taken a wey the ballokes is, ye shulen not offre to the Lord..." (any beast that is cut and taken away the bollocks, you shall not offer to the Lord, i.e. castrated animals are not suitable as religious sacrifices).

The OED states (with abbreviations expanded): "Probably a derivative of Teutonic ball-, of which the Old English representative would be inferred as beall-u, -a, or -e".

The Teutonic ball- in turn probably derives from the Proto-Indo-European base *bhel-, to inflate or swell. This base also forms the root of many other words, including "phallus".

Meaning "nonsense"

From the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, bollocks or ballocks was allegedly used as a slang term for a clergyman, although this meaning is not mentioned by the OED's 1989 edition. For example, in 1864, the Commanding Officer of the Straits Fleet regularly referred to his chaplain as "Ballocks". It has been suggested that bollocks came to have its modern meaning of "nonsense" because clergymen were notorious for talking nonsense during their sermons.[1]


Originally, the word "bollocks" was the everyday vernacular word for testicles—as noted above, it was used in this sense in the first English language bible, in the 14th century. By the mid-seventeenth century, at least, it had begun to acquire coarse figurative meanings (see section on "bollocking"), for example in a translation of works by Rabelais.

It did not appear in Samuel Johnson's 1755 dictionary of the English language.[2] It was also omitted from the 1933 Oxford English Dictionary and its 1941 reprint, finally appearing in the 1972 supplement.[3] The first modern English dictionary to include an entry for the bollocks was G. N. Garmonsway's Penguin English Dictionary of 1965.[citation needed]

The relative severity of the various profanities, as perceived by the British public, was studied on behalf of the Broadcasting Standards Commission, Independent Television Commission, BBC and Advertising Standards Authority. The results of this jointly commissioned research were published in December 2000 in a paper called "Delete Expletives?".[4] This placed "bollocks" in eighth position in terms of its perceived severity, between "prick" (seventh place) and "arsehole" (ninth place).[5] By comparison, the word "balls" (which has some similar meanings) was down in 22nd place. Of the people surveyed, 25% thought that "bollocks" should not be broadcast at all, and only 11% thought that it could acceptably be broadcast at times before the national 9pm "watershed" on television (radio does not have a watershed).[6] 25% of the people regarded "bollocks" as "very severe", 32% "quite severe", 34% "mild" and 8% considered it "not swearing".[7]

A survey of the language of London teenagers (published in 2002) examined, amongst other things, the incidence of various swearwords in their speech. It noted that the top ten swearwords make up 81% of the total swearwords. "Bollocks" was the seventh most frequent swearword, after "fucking", "shit", "fuck", "bloody", "hell" and "fuck off". Below "Bollocks", were "bastard", "bitch" and "damn", in eighth, ninth and tenth places.[8] This research regarded these words as swearwords in the context of their usage but noted that some might be inoffensive in other contexts.[9]

Negative uses


"Bollocks!" can be used as a stand-alone interjection to express strong disagreement. It dismisses a statement as nonsense, similar to the American "bullshit". This can be expanded, for example, to "What a complete and utter load of bollocks!" This usage is nearly identical to the now antiquated American interjection, "Nuts!" An expression with a similar meaning is "Yer ballax!" (You're bollocks). Sometimes bollocks! is combined with an abbreviated version of the original statement, for instance: "It was your fault" - "Bollocks, it was!" (It certainly was not); or "Did England win last night?" - "Did they bollocks!" (No, they did not) or "Pubs are shit in Atherton and Westhoughton.""Are they bollocks, there's good ones in Westhoughton!".[10]

As well as its use as an exclamation, "bollocks" can be used as a noun to annunciate a lie, an incorrect statement, an unfair situation, misfortune or a hiding to nothing, i.e. "what a load of bollocks" or "bollocks, more like". A quotation from John O'Farrell includes a range of examples of this usage: a character attending a comedy awards ceremony said: "These awards are a load of bollocks. It's all bollocks, all of it. These people: bollocks; this whole industry: complete bollocks; these prizes: meaningless bollocks; all these free gifts: marketing bollocks; this food: pure bollocks".[11] Similarly, it is claimed that New Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell "routinely dismissed unwelcome news stories as bollocks, complete bollocks and bollocks on stilts".[12]

A related usage is in expressing contempt for something or someone. International development charity ActionAid's slogan 'Bollocks to Poverty' has been popular with younger supporters since 2002.[13] A Channel 4 TV programme on 9 June 2005, dealing with the subject of testicular cancer, was (appropriately enough) entitled Bollocks to Cancer. A similar usage is the "Bollocks to Brussels" car stickers, which were displayed by those wishing to express contempt for European law.[14]

The word "bollocks" used on its own can also mean an expression of dismay. Often used in a single word form people will utter "bollocks" when something breaks or does not go their way, similar to a usage of the word shit or other expletives. For example: "He took a bite of his hot dog and a large dollop of mustard landed in his lap. 'Oh, bollocks,' snapped Jeremy."[15]

"Talking bollocks" and "Bollockspeak"

"Talking bollocks" generally means talking nonsense or bullshit,[16] for example: "Don't listen to him, he's talking bollocks", or "...talking absolute bollocks". Another example is "I told Maurice that he was talking bollocks, that he was full of shit and that his opinions were a pile of piss. (Rhetoric was always my indulgence.)"[17] "Talking bollocks" in a corporate context is referred to as bollockspeak.[18] Bollockspeak tends to be buzzword-laden and largely content-free, like gobbledygook: "Rupert, we'll have to leverage our synergies to facilitate a paradigm shift by Q4" is an example of management bollockspeak. There is a whole parodic book entitled The Little Book of Management Bollocks.[19] When a great deal of bollocks is being spoken, it may be said that the 'bollocks quotient' is high.[20]

The word "bollocks" first appeared in the international science journal Nature in 1998 [21] where it was reported by Professor Kemp as an asinine reaction of a science PhD student (Dr Magnus Johnson) to Nature's publication of photographs of navel fluff depicted as art[22]. Dr Johnson was later thanked by Professor Kemp for his rounded views.

Testiculate (verb)

The act of "talking bollocks" while waving one's arms about wildly (e.g. gesticulating) can be referred to as testiculation.[23][dubious ]

A "bollocks" (singular noun)

Comparable to cock-up, screw-up, balls-up, etc. Used with the indefinite article, it means a disaster, a mess or a failure. It is often used pejoratively, as in "You made a bollocks out of that one, sunshine!",[24] and it is generally used throughout Britain and Ireland.

Bollocks (transitive verb)

To bollocks something up means "to mess something up". It refers to a botched job: "Well, you bollocksed it up that time, Your Majesty!" or "Bollocksed up at work again, I fear. Millions down the drain".[25]

To "drop a bollock"

To "drop a bollock" describes the malfunction of an operation, or messing something up, as in many sports, and in more polite business parlance, dropping the ball brings play to an unscheduled halt.[26]



A "bollocking" usually denotes a robust verbal chastisement for something which one has done (or not done, as the case may be), for instance: "I didn't do my homework and got a right bollocking off Mr Smith", or "A nurse was assisting at an appendix operation when she shouldn't have been...and the surgeon got a bollocking".[27] Actively, one gives or delivers a bollocking to someone; in the building trade one can 'throw a right bollocking into' someone.

Originally, a bollocking was a serious assault, and the term comes from[citation needed] the bollock dagger, popular between the 13th and 18th centuries. There may be some connection also with the roll-lock, a form of Sliding knife, given the euphemistic term rollock or rollocking (see below).

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest meaning as "to slander or defame" and suggests that it entered the English language from the 1653 translation of one of Rabelais' works, which includes the Middle French expression "en couilletant", translated as "ballocking". The earliest printed use in the sense of a severe reprimand is, according to the OED, from 1946.[28]


Bollocking can also be used as a reinforcing adjective: "He hasn't a bollocking clue!" or "Where's me bollocking car?"[29]

"A kick in the bollocks" and "Dog's Bollocks Syndrome"

"A kick in the bollocks" is used to describe a significant set-back or disappointment, eg "I was diagnosed with having skin cancer. Ye Gods! What a kick in the bollocks".[30]

"Dog's Bollocks Syndrome" can be used to describe an excessive use of technology or visual aid, such as in an enormous use of Flash animations on a website. It is derived from the question: "Why do dogs lick their bollocks?" (answer: "Because they can"). In a technological context, the question could be "Why has the web developer included a three-minute animated intro to this page?", prompting the response: "Dog's Bollocks Syndrome, mate. Because he can".[citation needed]

"Bollock cold", "freeze (or work) one's bollocks off"

The scrotum's purpose is to keep testicles a couple of degrees cooler than the rest of the body. However, bollock cold means very cold indeed. "It's bollock cold outside - it's enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey". Both icy weather and hard work run the risk of orchidectomy: "Fred worked his bollocks off on that last project". This phrase is sometimes used by or about women: Boy George referred to his mother "working her bollocks off" at home.[31] One can also "work one's bollocks to the bone".

"Bollock naked"

"Bollock naked" is used in the singular form to describe being in the nude: "he was completely pissed and stark bollock naked".[32] "Bollocky" is Australian slang for "naked"; in the bollocky-buff is naval slang for the same.[33]

Bollocks (singular noun)

In Ireland, "bollocks", "ballocks" or "bollox" can be used as a singular noun to mean a despicable or notorious person, for instance: "Who's the old ballocks you were talking to?",[34] or conversely as a very informal term of endearment: "Ah Ted, ye big bollocks, let's go and have a pint!". In Dublin it can be spelled "Bollix".


Multiple meanings, also spelled "bolloxed":

  1. Exhausted: "I couldn't sleep at all last night, I'm completely bollocksed!"
  2. Broken: "My foot pump is bollocksed."
  3. An extreme state of inebriation or drug-induced stupor: "Last night I got completely bollocksed".[35]
  4. Hungover (or equivalent): "I drank two bottles of gin last night, I'm completely bollocksed".
  5. Made a mistake: "I tried to draw that landscape but I made a bollocks of it".

Positive uses

"Dog's bollocks"

A usage with a positive (albeit still vulgar) sense is "the dog's bollocks".[36] An example of this usage is: "Before Tony Blair's speech, a chap near me growled: ‘He thinks he's the dog's bollocks’. Well, he's entitled to. It was a commanding speech: a real dog's bollocks of an oration".[37]

Although this is a recent term (the Online Etymology Dictionary dates it to 1989[36][38]), its origins are obscure:

  • Etymologist Eric Partridge and the Oxford English Dictionary believe the term comes from the now obsolete typographical sequence of a colon and a dash;[39]
  • Another theory suggests it is a compound word of very early 1900s Meccano sets called "box, deluxe", in much the same way that their "box, standard" set name was corrupted to "bog standard".[40] However, this explanation is not currently supported by evidence.
  • "The dog's bollocks" fits in with several reduplications of positive meaning which were popular during the 1920s ("the bee's knees", "the cat's pajamas").
  • Another explanation is that the thing in question is "outstanding" like the stated canine's testicles

This phrase has found its way into popular culture in a number of ways. There is a beer brewed in England by the Wychwood Brewery called the "Dog's Bollocks",[41] as well as a lager cocktail.[42] There is an Australian political blog called The Dogs Bollocks, with the motto 'Truth is like a dog’s bollocks - pretty obvious if you care to look – but most of us prefer to avert our gaze, or have them permanently removed'.

"Top bollock(s)"

"Top bollock" is used as a superlative, for example: "This beer is top bollock". Used in the plural, "top bollocks" can be a slang term for women's breasts: "Look at Suzanne's top bollocks - you don't get many of those to the pound".[43] It is also known to be used to refer to authority figures or those in power, particularly by office workers, for instance: "I have to do this, it's an order from the Top Bollocks" (see also "Top Dog", "Top Brass" etc).

"Chuffed to one's bollocks"

The phrase "chuffed to one's bollocks" describes someone who is very pleased with himself. Nobel laureate Harold Pinter used this in The Homecoming[44] The phrase provided a serious challenge to translators of his work.[45] Pinter used a similar phrase in an open letter, published in The Guardian, and addressed to Prime Minister Tony Blair, attacking his co-operation with American foreign policy. The letter ends by saying "Oh, by the way, meant to mention, forgot to tell you, we were all chuffed to the bollocks when Labour won the election".[46]

Other uses

  • "Bollock-head" is a vulgar British term for a shaven head.[47] It can also refer to someone who is stupid, as can "bollock-brain". The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811) cites the expression "His brains are in his ballocks", to designate a fool.[48]

Rhyming slang

The rhyming slang for bollocks is "Jackson Pollocks".[50] It can be shortened to Jackson's, as in "Modern art? Pile o' Jacksons if you ask me!". Sandra Bullocks is occasionally used to approximate rhyming slang; it does not quite rhyme, but preserves meter and rhythm. The Beautiful South bowdlerised their original line "sweaty bollocks" as "Sandra Bullocks", as one of several changes to make their song "Don't Marry Her" acceptable for mainstream radio play. In Ireland the rhyming slang for bollocks is "Roger Trollocks", named after a Kildare landlord during the Famine who boasted of his ability to feed the entire country with a new system of crop planting.


The term "Horlicks" was brought to prominence in July 2003, when then-British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw used it to describe irregularities in the preparation and provenance of the "dodgy dossier" regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Straw used the expression "a complete Horlicks",[51] instead of the more impolite "make a complete bollocks of something". This euphemism stems from an advertising campaign for the Horlicks malt drink, where people were seen to be shouting "Horlicks!" in a loud voice, to give vent to stress or frustration. Eric Morecambe was also known to cough "Horlicks!" behind his hand on The Morecambe and Wise Show.

Euphemisms for "the dog's bollocks"

There are also several broadly synonymous substitute phrases for "the dog's bollocks", that are sometimes used for humorous effect, including "the mutt's nuts", "the dog's danglies", "the bee's knees" "the dogs back wheels" and "the badger's nadgers".[52]


Rollocking is sometimes used as a euphemism for "bollocking", and is not to be confused with rowlocks, which are devices used in rowing a boat, nor with Rollox, a name-form by which Saint Roch is commemorated in Royston, Glasgow,[53] nor with rollicking, which describes a kind of boisterously sportive behaviour.[54] A rollocking bollocking may be delivered by an electorate.[55]


The 2007 Concise new Partridge dictionary of slang and unconventional English quotes "bollards" as meaning "testicles" and that it is a play on the word bollocks.[56]


There is a strand of English humour which uses words that sound similar to "bollocks", or other slang words for testicles, for comic effect. A good example would be "In Sarajevo in 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was shot in the Balkans". In Richard E Grant's memoir With Nails, the actor tells of going to the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He notes that this is the place where "Robert Kennedy was shot in the kitchens. Sorry - kitchens sounds like a euphemism for bollocks. He was killed here."


The play Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery, published in 1684 and ascribed to John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, includes a character named Bolloxinion, King of Sodom (along with other characters with names such as General Buggeranthos and the maid of honour, Fuckadilla). The word bollox appears several times in the text, such as:

"Had all mankind, whose pintles I adore,
With well fill'd bollox swiv'd me o'er and o'er.
None could in nature have oblig'd me more."[57]

In 1690, the publisher Benjamin Crayle was fined 20 pounds and sent to prison for his part in publishing the play.[58]

In one of the tales in Burton's 1885 translation of The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Kafur, the eunuch, says:

"But now my spirit is broken and my tricks are gone from me, so alas! are my ballocks."[59]

Obscenity court ruling

Perhaps the best-known use of the term is in the title of the 1977 punk rock album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. Testimony in a resulting prosecution over the term demonstrated that in Old English, the word referred to a priest, and could also be used to mean "nonsense". Defence barrister John Mortimer QC and Virgin Records won the case: the court ruled that the word was not obscene.[60]

The usage of the word "bollocks" caused controversy when Tony Wright, a Leicestershire trader, was given an £80 fixed penalty fine by police for selling T-shirts bearing the slogan "Bollocks to Blair". This took place on 29 June 2006 at the Royal Norfolk Show; the police issued the penalty notice, quoting Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 which refers to language "deemed to cause harassment, alarm or distress".[61] Although Wright would most likely win a legal case against the fine, it is not known whether he considered challenging it or not.

Commentators[who?] have made comparisons with the Sex Pistols case,[62] pointing to some of the statements made by John Mortimer QC: "What sort of country are we living in if a politician comes to Nottingham and speaks here to a group of people in the city centre and, during his speech, a heckler replies "bollocks". Are we to expect this person to be incarcerated, or do we live in a country where we are proud of our Anglo-Saxon language?".

Not current in American English

The phrase "bollix things up", frequently misheard in the UK as "bollocks things up" appears in episodes of The Flintstones,[63] which are frequently broadcast in the UK as part of BBC children's programming. To "bollix things up" is not considered offensive in American English.

It was also used in the episode Intervention of How I Met Your Mother,[64] and the Hey Arnold! episode It Girl (by a British character).[65]

See also


  1. ^ Watkins, Peter. The Soul of Wit: Eccentricity, Absurdity and Other Ecclesiastical Treasures. SCM-Canterbury Press Ltd. p. 71. ISBN 1-85311-496-0. 
  2. ^ *Downloadable copy of Johnson's Dictionary, 6th Edition, Volume 1 and Volume 2 at the Internet Archive
  3. ^ Melvin J. Lasky: The language of journalism: Profanity, obscenity and the media, Aldine Transaction, 2007. ISBN 0765802201, 9780765802200. p.134
  4. ^ ASA Reports and Surveys, Delete Expletives paper. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  5. ^ Delete Expletives, p.9
  6. ^ Delete Expletives, p.28
  7. ^ Delete Expletives, p.12
  8. ^ Anna-Brita Stenström, Gisle Andersen and Ingrid Kristine Hasund: Trends in teenage talk: corpus compilation, analysis, and findings, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2002. ISBN 1588112527, 9781588112521. p.80
  9. ^ Stenström, Andersen and Hasund, p.76
  10. ^ McConnell, Peter (2006). Cold-Blooded Killer. Trafford Publishing. p. 112. ISBN 1412062128, 9781412062121. 
  11. ^ O'Farrell, John (2003). This is your life (paperback edn.). Black Swan. p. 179. 
  12. ^ Danchev, Alex (2005). The Iraq War and Democratic Politics. Routledge. p. 247. ISBN 0415351472. 
  13. ^ ActionAid website. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
  14. ^ Dunn, Willy (2005-09-29). "Spheres of contempt". The Times: Letters Page, p.18. 
  15. ^ Sandy Cardy and Mike Fitzgerald: The Cottage, the Spider Brooch, and the Second Wife, ECW Press, 2003 ISBN 1550225960, 9781550225969. p.45
  16. ^ R Lingo, Talking Bollocks!: Totally Stupid Everyday Remarks, Crombie Jardine Publishing Limited, 2008.ISBN 1906051186, 9781906051181
  17. ^ Robert McLiam Wilson, Ripley Bogle, Arcade Publishing, 1998, ISBN 1559704241, 9781559704243
  18. ^ Tony J. Watson, Organising and managing work: organisational, managerial and strategic behaviour in theory and practice (2nd edition), Pearson Education, 2006, ISBN 027370480X, 9780273704805. p.231: "I call a cock up a cock up and not a "contingent operating difficulty [which is] pompous bollock-speak."
  19. ^ Alistair Beaton 2001 ISBN 978-0743404136
  20. ^ John Pilger, 'The politics of bollocks', New Statesman 5 February 2009 [1]
  21. ^ Martin Kemp, 'Parker's Pieces', Nature 16th April 1998 [2]
  22. ^ Magnus Johnson, 'Art was a load of fluff',Nature 29th March 2001 [3]
  23. ^ Rahman, Saif (2006). Down to a Sunset Sea. Twenty First Century Publishers Ltd. p. 222. ISBN 1904433561. ' "What a fine load of bollocks that was", Phillip confessed to Caroline the following evening. "There's even a word for it: testiculating, or waving your arms around and talking bollocks. Mind you - towards the end I was starting to believe what I was saying". '
  24. ^ Henry Friedman, Sander Meredeen, The dynamics of industrial conflict: lessons from Ford, Taylor & Francis, 1980, ISBN 070990374X, 9780709903741, p.104: "Birch had admitted to Rees that the Union had 'made a bollocks of it' by confusing the grading and equal pay issues in court."
  25. ^ "Memorable Quotes from Notting Hill (film)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  26. ^ "Top Ten Worst Vanity Projects". Retrieved 2007-02-05.  "Guy Ritchie...was about to drop a bollock from a mile high. His next project in 2003 was Swept Away, a film so harshly derided by critics that it actually made the reader feel sympathy for the poor guy – that is, until they saw it for themselves."
  27. ^ Lyall, Joanna (2005-02-26). "Journalists accused of wrecking doctors' lives". British Medical Journal 330 (7489): 485. doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7489.485. 
  28. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, online edition. Entry for "bollocking"
  29. ^ Brown, Christy (1976). Wild Grow the Lillies. Martin Secker & Warburg. p. 216. 
  30. ^ Roger Stutter, Jonny Kennedy: The Story of the Boy Whose Skin Fell Off, Tonto Books, 2007, ISBN 0955218381, 9780955218385. p.158
  31. ^ Deborah Ross, 'Boy George: Drama chameleon', The Independent, 13 May 2002 [4]
  32. ^ Carter, Jon (2005). South America Detox. Carter. p. 258. ISBN 0-9552-1840-3. 
  33. ^ Denton, Andrew (20 February 2006). "Transcript of interview with Billy Connolly for ABC TV's With Enough Rope". Retrieved 2 May 2007. : With reference to a scene in a film in which Connolly appears naked, he says "So I danced bollocky buff round them..."
  34. ^ Joyce, James (1922). Ulysses. Episode 12. ISBN 0195021681. 
  35. ^ Ball, Kevin. "Bally's Celtic Swing". A Love Supreme (Sunderland AFC Fanzine). ALS Publications. Archived from the original on December 6, 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-05.  "We all went out...for a few beers to a place called Sean's Bar. Some of the lads were playing darts in there, and there was a lass near them who was utterly bollocksed. She was all over the shop".
  36. ^ a b Dog's bollocks - meaning and origin, Viz magazine 1989: "Viz: the dog's bollocks: the best of issues 26 to 31".
  37. ^ The Times: p.7. 1995-10-04. 
  38. ^ Douglas Harper. "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2006-09-08. 
  39. ^ Partridge, Eric (1949). A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (3rd ed.). Routledge & Paul. LCCN 50014741. 
  40. ^ Michael Quinion. "Questions & Answers: Bog-standard". World Wide Words. Retrieved 2006-09-08. 
  41. ^ "Wychwood Dogs Bollocks". RateBeer LLC. Retrieved 2006-09-08. 
  42. ^ "Dogs Bollocks recipe". Retrieved 2006-09-08. 
  43. ^ Wood, Christopher (2006). James Bond, The Spy I Loved. Twenty First Century Publishers Ltd. p. 138. ISBN 1904433537.  'The heroine needed to be young, capable of projecting a naïve innocence, able to act a bit and possessed of what I heard a member of the crew describe as "a decent pair of top bollocks"'.
  44. ^ "He'll be chuffed to his bollocks in the morning when he sees his eldest son".
  45. ^ "Michael Billington Q&A: Language". BBC. Retrieved 2010-12-04. 
  46. ^ Raby, Peter (2001). The Cambridge Companion to Harold Pinter. Cambridge University Press. p. 232. ISBN 052165842X. 
  47. ^ Wilson, Robert McLiam (1998). Ripley Bogle. Arcade Publishing. p. 302. ISBN 1559704241. "My baldy chum wasn't smiling now...This bollock-head was obviously an amateur, a cowboy".
  48. ^ Grose, Captain (2004). 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (reprinted 2004). Kessinger Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 1419100076. 
  49. ^ "'Butt Scratcher!' At Reading ... / Festivals // Drowned In Sound". 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  50. ^ Eric Partridge, Tom Dalzell, Terry Victor, The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, Taylor & Francis, 2006, ISBN 041525938X, 9780415259385. p.1082
  51. ^ "Straw says dossier was 'embarrassing'". BBC News. 2003-06-24. Retrieved 2007-08-12. 
  52. ^ Nadgers is one of many words dripping with sexual innuendo which emerged in the 1950s and 1960s to evade strict BBC censorship. The etymology is uncertain, but possibly based on "gonad". When Rambling Syd Rumpo on the radio show Round the Horne asked "What shall we do with a drunken nurker?", the answer he gave was "Hit him in the nadgers with the bosun's plunger...'til his bodgers dangle".
  53. ^ See Church dedication at Garngad and Royston: see also St. Rollox railway works and Glasgow St Rollox (UK Parliament constituency).
  54. ^ OED.
  55. ^ Polly Toynbee, 'Only Alan Johnson can prevent catastrophe,' The Guardian 15 May 2009. [5]
  56. ^ Tom Dalzell, Terry Victor: The concise new Partridge dictionary of slang and unconventional English, Routledge, 2007. ISBN 0415212596, 9780415212595. p.76
  57. ^ Earl John Wilmot: Sodom; Or the Quintessence of Debauchery, Act IV, published 1684. Reprinted by Olympia Press, 2004 ISBN 1596540214, 9781596540217
  58. ^ The Obscenity of Censorship: A History of Indecent People and Lacivious Publications Sheryl Straight, 2003. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  59. ^ Richard F. Burton (translator): The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night: A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments, Volume 2, Oxford, 1885. eText from Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  60. ^ "Record sleeve of punk rock album ruled not indecent". The Times. 25 November 1977. p. 2. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  61. ^ "UK | England | Leicestershire | Man fined for 'rude' Blair shirt". BBC News. 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  62. ^ Bhat, Devika (July 4, 2006). "Stallholders fined for offensive Blair T-shirts". The Times. Retrieved 14 February 2010. Mr Rhodes said: “The word ‘bollocks’ has come to mean rubbish. It certainly doesn’t have the same shock value that it might have had when the Sex Pistols first used it on an album.”
  63. ^ The Flintstones, Season 1 Episode 23, The Astro' Nuts,
  64. ^ "How I Met Your Mother: Intervention - Trivia and Quotes". Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  65. ^

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  • bollocks — ollocks v. to make a mess of. Syn: botch, fumble, botch up, muff, blow it, flub, screw up, ball up, blunder, spoil, muck up, bungle, fluff, bollix, bollix up, bollocks up, bobble, mishandle, louse up, foul up, mess up, fuck up. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bollocks — testicles, 1744, see BOLLIX (Cf. bollix). In British slang, as an ejaculation meaning nonsense, recorded from 1919 …   Etymology dictionary

  • bollocks — (also ballocks) ► PLURAL NOUN Brit. vulgar slang 1) the testicles. 2) (treated as sing. ) nonsense; rubbish. ORIGIN related to BALL(Cf. ↑ball) …   English terms dictionary

  • bollocks — [bäl′əks] [Chiefly Brit.] Chiefly Brit. pl.n. [euphemistic respelling of ME ballokes: see BOLLIX] Vulgar 1. testicles 2. Slang nonsense interj. [Vulgar Slang] nonsense: sometimes also used to express anger, annoyance, etc …   English World dictionary

  • bollocks — noun (plural) BrE slang 1 spoken used to say rudely that you think something is wrong or stupid: These statistics are total bollocks. | a load of old bollocks (=complete nonsense): She s just talking a load of old bollocks. 2 spoken a word used… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • bollocks — bol|locks [ˈbɔləks US ˈba: ] n [plural] BrE spoken informal [: Old English; Origin: beallucas testicles ] 1.) used to say rudely that you think something is wrong or stupid = ↑rubbish ▪ Your lyrics are complete bollocks; they don t actually mean… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • bollocks — 1. n pl the testicles. A version of this word has existed since Anglo Saxon times; in Old English it was bealluc, a diminutive or familiar elaboration of bula, meaning ball. For much of its existence the word, usu ally spelled ballocks , was… …   Contemporary slang

  • bollocks — 1. noun a) The testicles (sometimes used in the singular) Thats a load of bollocks, mate! (note: variation on spelling in parts of Northern Ireland are ballicks and ballix) b) Nonsense or information deliberately intended to mislead. Dont mind… …   Wiktionary

  • Bollocks — This is a great English word with many excellent uses. Technically speaking it means testicles but is typically used to describe something that is no good (that s bollocks) or that someone is talking rubbish (he s talking bollocks). Surprisingly… …   The American's guide to speaking British

  • bollocks — I UK [ˈbɒləks] / US [ˈbɑləks] interjection British impolite used for showing that you are annoyed or that you do not agree with something Oh bollocks, I ve dropped my keys under the car. II UK [ˈbɒləks] / US [ˈbɑləks] noun British impolite 1)… …   English dictionary

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