Know your Bollocks

"Bollocks" is a word of Middle English origin, meaning "testicles". The word is often used figuratively in British English and Hiberno-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 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". 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. 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. It was also omitted from the 1933 Oxford English Dictionary and its 1941 reprint, finally appearing in the 1972 supplement. The first modern English dictionary to include an entry for bollocks was G. N. Garmonsway’s Penguin English Dictionary of 1965.
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?". This placed "bollocks" in eighth position in terms of its perceived severity, between "prick" (seventh place) and "arsehole" (ninth place). 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 9 pm "watershed" on television (radio does not have a watershed). 25% of the people regarded "bollocks" as "very severe", 32% "quite severe", 34% "mild" and 8% considered it "not swearing". "Talking bollocks" generally means talking nonsense or bullshit, 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.)" "Talking bollocks" in a corporate context is referred to as bollockspeak. 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. When a great deal of bollocks is being spoken, it may be said that the ‘bollocks quotient’ is high. The word "bollocks" first appeared in the international science journal Nature in 1998 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. Dr Johnson was later thanked by Professor Kemp for his rounded views. 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 to have "made a bollocks out of it",and it is generally used throughout Britain and Ireland. 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". 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. 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". 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 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. "A kick in the bollocks" is used to describe a significant set-back or disappointment, e.g. "I was diagnosed with having skin cancer. Ye Gods! What a kick in the bollocks". However, bollock cold means very cold indeed. "It’s bollock cold outside". To "work ones bollocks off" is to work very hard. This phrase is sometimes used by or about women: Boy George referred to his mother "working her bollocks off" at home. "Bollock naked" is used in the singular form to describe being in the nude: "he was completely pissed and stark bollock naked". 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?", 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" or "bollixed":
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".
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 bollocksed it up".
The phrase "bollocksed up" means to be in a botched, bungled, confused or disarrayed state. E.g., he "managed to bollix up the whole project." In the printing and newspaper industries, dropping a California Job Type case of Moveable type – spilling the contents – was a classic example of "bollocksing up" the works." The box was called "pied." Bollocksed in that sense meant, ‘Beyond all repair.

Example of Web B-llocks