Share this entry

Share this page

bollocks

Line breaks: bol|locks
Pronunciation: /ˈbɒləks
 
/
(also ballocks)

Definition of bollocks in English:

plural noun

British vulgar slang
2 [treated as singular] Nonsense; rubbish (used to express contempt or disagreement, or as an exclamation of annoyance).

Origin

mid 18th century: plural of bollock, variant of earlier ballock, of Germanic origin; related to ball1.

More
  • Bollocks used to be ballocks, and in that spelling they go back to the time of the Anglo-Saxons. The word is related to ball, and like many rude words it was perfectly standard English until around the 18th century. It is now used in several colourful expressions. A bollocking, or severe telling-off, is more genteelly written as a rollicking (mid 20th century), and it is more refined to make a Horlicks of (late 20th century) something than to make a bollocks of it. The dog's bollocks is a coarse version of expressions like the bee's knees or the cat's pyjamas, meaning ‘an excellent person or thing’, which was popularized in the late 1980s by the comic Viz.

Words that rhyme with bollocks

Pollux

Definition of bollocks in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…