Countdown's Dictionary Expert Explains Origins Of 'B*****ks'
The word 'bollocks' has gotten a surprising amount of attention over the last week or so.
Journalist John Waters made headlines when he stormed out of a podcast recording with Eamon Dunphy, telling the broadcaster: "You're a bollocks. You're a f***ing bollocks."
Elsewhere, Transport Minister Shane Ross reportedly called Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath an 'out and out bollocks' during a heated row in Leinster House.
It all reignited interest in one of the most colourful of swear words, including from comedian David O'Doherty.
Hey @susie_dent Where does ‘bollocks’ come from? Sounds French. Like balleaux?— David O'Doherty (@phlaimeaux) May 18, 2018
It may have taken a few days, but Countdown's 'Dictionary Corner' expert and lexicographer / etymologist Susie Dent ultimately responded to David's query:
Am I too late? Bollocks used to be ‘ballocks’, dating right back to the Anglo-Saxons (the word not the bollocks). It’s related to ball and was completely neutral - just as intestines were otherwise known as ‘arse-ropes’.— Susie Dent (@susie_dent) May 21, 2018
So there you have it!