bollix (Irish slang?) [bollocks]

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Virtus, May 8, 2009.

  1. Virtus

    Virtus Member

    Bologna, Italy
    Italy - Italian
    Good morning.

    These days I am reading "The Commintments" by Roddy Doyle and this word "bollix" is used very often.

    I haven't found it in any dictionary (I found the verb "to bollix", though).

    I understand it stands for "fellow", but it seems to have also a derogatory nuance, and possibly it's an obscene word (actually, that book contains plenty of obscene words!).

    Is there someone here who can give me a definition of what does "bollix" mean?

    Thank you very much in advance
    Paolo
     
  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Have a look at ballocksed - from around post #25.

    You will see that indeed a bollix (or a variety of alternative spellings) is a term of abuse, an insult.
    Like most such terms, it may also be used between friends to express a kind of amicable irritation.
     
  3. Virtus

    Virtus Member

    Bologna, Italy
    Italy - Italian
    Thank you for your reply :)

    Paolo
     
  4. paddyireland New Member

    English
    The term 'bollix' from an Irish perspective can be used in a wide range of intended meanings depending on the prevailing intention. A friend may say to another 'that's a load of bollix' simply meaning that he doesn't take credence in what has been said or can't believe what he has witnessed. It does not necessarily imply that the user of the term is being insulting, just expressing a point of view. Then there's the 'I don't give a bollix' which again merely describes an apathetic point of view rather than an insult to the person or subject to which directed. 'I'm bollixed' describes a state of personal deflation or defeat or perhaps exhaustion. The .dogs bollix' is a complimentary term used for example 'your suit is the dog's bollix' meaning that the suit is tremendous. But there's no mistake that the term bollix is derived from a male's nether regions so one has to weigh up when, where and what company the terms may be most appropriate. Do not use the term to describe another person unless it can be taken in good humour by that person or you can take a bloody nose.
     
  5. Hunnydipt

    Hunnydipt New Member

    English

    Tonite I was watching "The Late Show With James Cordon" (recorded). The guests on the show (9/07/2017) were Dana Carvey & Lake Bell. James (Cordon) let the "F-bomb" drop a few times which took Dana & Lake completely by surprise and they commented that they didn't know they could the word "fuck" on his show. To that James & Dana said that they wonder if Ballex (bollex) is a term from old English which may refer to "testicles". Depending on which Google answer you choose there are a few different possible meanings ... one of them being "a dirty, scraggly slut". There are also at least two spellings of the word.
     
  6. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    "Bollix" is just an alternative spelling of "bollocks", the plural of "bollock" which means "testicle". There's no wondering about it; it is a very old word, from Old English. Ii does not mean "a dirty, scraggly slut". It is used in various ways, primarily in reference to making a mistake (He made a right bollocks of that!), but it can also mean something that is the very best (That's the dog's bollocks!), or a particular type of pulley block on sailing ships. I think it's use as a verb is American:
    EDIT I missed off "To work one's bollocks off." = "To work very hard."
     
  7. Scrawny goat Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    The query was about the Irish usage which, from my memory of reading Roddy Doyle, is generally used in addressing someone as "ye bollix", or, more emphatically: "ye bollix, ye".

    Depending on the context, this can either be a teasing form of address to a male friend or an attempt to offend a male person. (I can't say for sure that his characters never say it to women, but it's rare to hear it used that way.)
     

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