March 16th, 2004

Never mind the ... here comes today's word

Today’s word is a staple of Mockney film and television shows (especially soaps and police shows) … a classic British slang word that is terribly misused in US shows.
The word of the day is:

(also ballocks)
• plural noun Brit. vulgar slang 1 the testicles.
2 treated as sing. nonsense; rubbish
eg: that film was complete bollocks.
— ORIGIN related to BALL.

Thankfully James Marsters learned to say ‘Bollocks’ instead of ‘Bollix’ fairly early into series 5 of Buffy!

Bollocks 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). As recently as the late Seventies/early Eighties 'Bollocks' was still classed as an obscenity ... I can still see my mum's horrified expression when I told her 'Adam Ant was a load of bollocks' when aged 12 (I was an Estuary English prodigy!) Now it's such a common word that even the stuffed shirts have been know to use it about the office.

Surprisingly it is also used in a positive manner to describe something that is the best, in which case you would describe it as being "the dog's bollocks".

There’s a whole range of phrases for you to use incorporating the word ‘Bollocks’:

bollock Verb. To reprimand. Noun. A testicle.

bollock-brain Noun. Idiot, imbecile. Derog.

bollocking Noun. A severe reprimand.
e.g: The bos gave me a right bollocking today

(the) bollocks Noun. The best, a thing or situation of excellence. Abb of 'dog's bollocks'.
[NB : note the suffix 'the' gives bollocks the opposite meaning ... see earlier
entry for Pants and the pants]

bollocksed Adj. 1. Worn out, ruined, tired. 2. Very intoxicated.
Also bollocksed up - messed up
eg: I really bollocksed that up.

... bollocks off Phrs. Suffixal use expressing the extreme or excessive nature of an action.
eg: I ran my bollocks off but still came last.
I worked my bollocks off but still didn't get a raise

bollock (something)up Vrb phrs. To make a mistake, to mess something up.

bollocks to that! Exclam. A defiant exclamation.