The text I quoted is from an American film. I looked it up in my dictionary and found "balls" also refers to a man's testicles.You got a lot of balls,Kid.You nail my wife. You break up my family.You burn down my business.
So I think I can not apply " you got a lot of balls" to a woman. Am I right?
Last edited by thedaffodils; 09-Dec-2008 at 13:56. Reason: added "in", "my"
Thank you very much for your comment. The expression reminds me of the image of Chinese eunucks in Chinese TV series, who were castrated and became emasculate or effeminate.
This was not the first time that I read people used the similar expression. In another forum, a girl often kept asking male forumites to upload their own pictures by writing, "Do you have balls to show me your picture?"
Instinctively, I felt a bit embarrassed for her when I read the woman said that time and again. I wonder whether the expression - 'have balls' is acceptable in polite society. In other words, will a lady say that with such an expression? Thanks!
No, it's not what used to be called 'lady-like', and a lot of people still operate double standards (expecting different behaviour from men and from women). So even if it's not Politically Correct to say 'lady-like' it's often thought in polite society.
I'd like to think I'm a lady, and it's not something I'd say under most circumstances.
However, I do use the words "ballsy" in that way a bit more freely. "Wow, that was a ballsy move." I would use that for both women and men, meaning that it was daring (and maybe just a bit fool-hardy). I still wouldn't use that with my minister or my mother, so to me it's still just a bit vulgar.
I would find a woman saying "Do you have the balls to..." to be a bit crude.
If you need a substitute:
That took balls -- That took gumption
That was ballsy -- That was sure brave
Do you have the balls...? -- Do you have the guts...? (Are you brave enough...?
He's sure got balls -- He has a lot of nerve
Thank you for your comment and suggestion. Those substitutes are helpful.
..also a foreign language can make words like this sound a bit more acceptable. Some speakers of English might say 'He's got cojones' rather than the English; this may be because when they learn the Spanish word (in the works of, say, Ernest Hemingway), the meaning they learn first is the metaphorical one.
I have UK tv by satellite here in France, I've never heard of that tv show.