trip balls

Discussion in 'Dictionary Additions' started by Cagey, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    Term: (A word or expression you have seen in writing)
    trip balls
    Your definition or explanation:
    (verb) to be in an altered mental state, as on drugs.
    Example: (An example of the term in use)
    Ritual trips can go badly, badly wrong for hours at a time: Be prepared to have people try and run out of the trip and into the streets, half-naked and tripping balls. Generation Hex (Jason Louv - 2005
    One or more places you have seen the term: (Please give URLs/links to web pages, or a full description of a print publication.)
    1) This post was occasioned by a this page from Dinosaur Comics, in which T-Rex announces "Anybody want to trip balls today? Because I am willing to trip balls. I am willing to trip all the balls." He then announces some 'mind-blowing' facts.

    The earliest use I can find. (Wiktionary has the same one.)

    by Chad Propst
    God never asked His Son
    About the time He spent In LA
    Running with that hellish crowd
    And tripping balls in San Francisco.

    In: Home is in the blood: new work from the Institute of American Indian Arts (Eddie D. Chuculate, 1995)
    Have you looked for this term or meaning in dictionaries, and not found it? Yes __:tick:__ No ___
    Only in Wiktionary, not in any of the authorized dictionaries.
  2. Sarah B. New Member

    The "balls" might not be necessary, but I do think "trip" or "tripping" is a common enough saying now to be understood as hallucinating.

    The Urban Dictionary has the term listed:
    A noun that refers to a single complete experience of using acid (LSD, which is a powerful hallucinogenic drug), or any other powerful hallucinogenic drug.
    2. Can be used fuguratively in a way that is very often used to describe things that are crazy, chaotic, cool, or ,esp., figuratively capable of inducing hallucinations.
    3. Also in adjective form the word is trippy.

    1. That (acid) trip was crazy last night.
    2. Wow that ride is a real (crazy) trip!
    3. That's a trippy pen (because of its flashing lights)."
  3. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    Yes, even our own dictionary, the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, has that definition of trip:
    6 informal experience hallucinations induced by taking a psychedelic drug, especially LSD.
    Certainly it is related. However, this entry is for 'trip balls' which appears to exist as a fixed phrase, used as described above.
  4. Syzygy Senior Member

    I've just heard this slang expression used with the meaning given above. I'm not clear, however, whether "balls" is the object of the verb "to trip" here (maybe referring to drugs that are consumed in ball shape?) or some sort of intensifier. It is in any case unrelated to the "balls" that are considered vulgar, right?
    Thanks for any further explanations!

    edit: Sorry, came here over the forum search and didn't realize that this isn't a question section of the forum. Feel free to disregard and delete this post.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  5. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    That's a good question. I can't answer it, but I do want to reassure you that discussion of the meaning and origin of the word is acceptable in this forum. If anyone has an answer, they should post it.

    (For some reason, I've always associated this with a successful hit on a pinball machine. On reflection, I realize that I don't have anything to support that.)
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  6. -mack-

    -mack- Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    American English
    It is certainly not a phrase to be said in polite company; as with anything containing the word balls used as an expletive, it's vulgar, but I think, at least in the United States, most people would know exactly what you mean when you say it. I think it's commonly known and used enough to be in the dictionary as a colloquial/vulgar expression.

    Also, I have no proof of this, but I suspect the derivation is balls (testicles) -> balls (expletive/intensifier). It seems logical in comparison with -ass as an intensifier of an adjective. (Crazy-ass ____, stupid-ass _____, poor-ass _____, etc.)
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  7. modulus Senior Member

    ইংরেজি - আমেরিক
    I think the definition given in Wiktionary---“[verb] (idiomatic, slang) To experience a severe drug-induced hallucinatory trip”---is how the term is used most often. In particular, the word severe is an integral part of this definition.

    As for the origin of the phrase, I have found only speculations. The most popular seems to be that balls is an intensifier---i.e. it is short for “to trip one’s balls off” or “to trip balls to the wall”.
  8. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    I'm not sure that that's true. There are lots of people with little or no experience with drugs. There are also millions of people in the U.S. over 55 years of age. In 2010, there were twice as many people in the U.S. aged 55 and older than there were age 18 to 24.

    I've never heard the expression before and I wouldn't know what it meant. I would understand "trip" but I wouldn't understand what the "balls" part meant.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  9. -mack-

    -mack- Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    American English
    True. I'm only 21, and I should have considered my age as a factor.

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