"Blue balls"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jun 5 14:19:21 UTC 2009

At 1:36 AM -0400 6/5/09, Wilson Gray wrote:
>When I was a freshman in high school, Harry Gleason, the asshole who
>sat in front of me, used to use the just-for-the-hell-of-it phrase:
>"_Blue-balled_ bastard from Piss-Pot Creek"
>This, (9/1950) was the first time that I had heard "blue balls" or any
>of its variations, combinations, permutations, or probabilities. The
>phrase, in that context or any other, meant nothing to me and
>continued to mean nothing till ca.1991. When a (white) friend happened
>to use the phrase, "blue balls," for some reason, I finally felt like
>asking what it meant. From the explanation, I divined that "blue
>balls" was the white term for "lover's nuts."

The self-diagnosis of "blue balls"--and the claim that it can be
hazardous to a gentleman's health--was (so I was told) also a popular
(if not necessarily successful) argument brought up by young men in
their briefs (as it were) to their dates.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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