Definition of Horlicks in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈhɔːlɪks/

Entry from British & World English dictionary


[mass noun] trademark
A drink made from malted milk powder.
Example sentences
  • The survey was commissioned by the makers of malted drink Horlicks.
  • Nutritional drinks such as Horlicks also contain trans fats.
  • And look very closely at the labels on things like Horlicks and drinking chocolate.


make a Horlicks of

British informal Make a mess of.
Example sentences
  • Yes the traction control light will occasionally flicker, but the electronic intrusion is measured and actually helps you from making a Horlicks of things.
  • One final observation - she made a Horlicks of her job as moderator.
  • Untracked by Brazil's midfield, Kranjcar times his run onto the ball perfectly, but then makes a Horlicks of his header at goal.


Late 19th century: named after James and William Horlick, British-born brothers whose company first manufactured the drink in the US.

  • bollocks from mid 18th century:

    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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Hor|licks

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Related Words