• plural noun the testicles. A predictable use of the word, balls was first used as a euphemism in Renaissance England, later becoming a standard, if coarse synonym.
  • plural noun rubbish, nonsense. This use of the word, except perhaps as an exclamation, is surprisingly acceptable in middle-class speech (in such phrases as ‘it’s all balls’), considering its derivation.
  • plural noun courage, nerve. In this sense the word may now be applied to women in spite of the anatomical inconsistency.
  • plural noun a mess. This is a modern, mainly middle-class shortening of balls-up, usually found in the phrase to ‘make a balls of it/something’.
  • plural noun money, dollars. This usage was recorded in the later 1990s among adolescents. Bollers and boyz are British synonyms.