Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: dog's balls

  1. #1
    nyota's Avatar
    nyota is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    615
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default dog's balls

    I know dog's balls is to mean "cool, great". I'm guessing it's a quite recent invention, too. I'd like to ask native speakers: how does the phrase sound to you, what connotations does it bring about? Is it common?

  2. #2
    Amigos4's Avatar
    Amigos4 is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    32,604
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: dog's balls

    Quote Originally Posted by nyota View Post
    I know dog's balls is to mean "cool, great". I'm guessing it's a quite recent invention, too. I'd like to ask native speakers: how does the phrase sound to you, what connotations does it bring about? Is it common?
    In AmE, "dog's balls" is not used to indicate "cool" or "great". If you used the expression in mixed company you would be considered rude.

  3. #3
    nyota's Avatar
    nyota is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    615
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: dog's balls

    Could you please explain what it means then?

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: dog's balls

    The BrE expression is Dog's bollocks, not to be used in polite circles.

  5. #5
    JMurray is online now Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • New Zealand
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1,681
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: dog's balls

    nyota.
    I haven't heard the phrase "dog's balls" in that sense (others may have) but in UK Eng "dog's bollocks" (the same part of the canine anatomy) means "just the best": "This new car of mine is the dog's bollocks". It's like a coarser version of the genteel and dated "bee's knees" or "cat's pyjamas".
    The phrase "sticks out like dog's balls" means something is very obvious and plain to see, especially if it looks out of place or inappropriate: "In that street of old wooden houses that modern glass one sticks out like dog's balls".

    These are fairly vulgar terms and you would have to be careful where you used them, in some company they would be considered rude, but they can also be effective at the right time and place.

    not a teacher

  6. #6
    banderas's Avatar
    banderas is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,513
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: dog's balls

    Did not you mean "dog's bollocks" by any chance?
    I've never heard of "dog's balls".
    (note: I am not a native speaker of English).

  7. #7
    nyota's Avatar
    nyota is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    615
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: dog's balls

    Quote Originally Posted by JMurray View Post
    nyota.
    It's like a coarser version of the genteel and dated "bee's knees" or "cat's pyjamas".
    The phrase "sticks out like dog's balls" means something is very obvious and plain to see, especially if it looks out of place or inappropriate: "In that street of old wooden houses that modern glass one sticks out like dog's balls".not a teacher
    Seriously, how do you even come up with something like bee's knees . All very interesting, thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by banderas View Post
    Did not you mean "dog's bollocks" by any chance?
    I've never heard of "dog's balls".
    (note: I am not a native speaker of English).
    I saw it somewhere on the internet, hence my question. :)

  8. #8
    JMurray is online now Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • New Zealand
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1,681
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: dog's balls

    how do you even come up with something like bee's knees?

    Yes, it is a nice phrase and although I did say that it's a little dated I still often hear it said.

    From oxforddictionaries.com
    The bee's knees: The phrase was first recorded in the late 18th century, when it was used to mean 'something very small and insignificant'. Its current meaning dates from the 1920s, at which time a whole collection of American slang expressions were coined with the meaning 'an outstanding person or thing'. Examples included the flea's eyebrows, the canary's tusks, and one that still survives - the cat's whiskers. The switch in meaning for the bee's knees probably emerged because it was so similar in structure and pattern to these other phrases.

  9. #9
    maoriboy is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • New Zealand
      • Current Location:
      • Colombia
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: dog's balls

    I agree with JMurray, seems to be a mix or confusion between "the dogs bollocks" which does mean "cool or great", and "Something or someone sticks out like dogs balls", which as is mentioned, means something or someone that is very different from everything else, or is very obvious.

    So while Robby Williams thinks he's the dogs bollocks, Lady gaga sticks out like dogs balls where ever she goes.
    By the way, this site's just the cats pyjamas.

  10. #10
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    5,099
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: dog's balls

    Quote Originally Posted by JMurray View Post
    how do you even come up with something like bee's knees?

    Yes, it is a nice phrase and although I did say that it's a little dated I still often hear it said.

    From oxforddictionaries.com
    The bee's knees: The phrase was first recorded in the late 18th century, when it was used to mean 'something very small and insignificant'. Its current meaning dates from the 1920s, at which time a whole collection of American slang expressions were coined with the meaning 'an outstanding person or thing'. Examples included the flea's eyebrows, the canary's tusks, and one that still survives - the cat's whiskers. The switch in meaning for the bee's knees probably emerged because it was so similar in structure and pattern to these other phrases.
    And here's another opinion (a little different).

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. balls up
    By smelvanzq in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 25-Dec-2009, 03:24
  2. [Idiom] What is 'dog's meat'?
    By mfhaq77 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 14-Aug-2008, 18:10
  3. a dog's breakfast
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 21-Jun-2008, 00:51
  4. dog's....
    By blouen in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 24-Jul-2007, 05:58

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •