phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

"No Balls"

Posted by R. Berg on April 22, 2001

In Reply to: "No Balls" posted by ESC on April 22, 2001

: : : Can anyone shed any light on the phrase "No Balls"? When used in a sentence such as " you won't do that because you have not got any balls".
: : : What is the true meaning of the phrase, what is its origin?
: : : My understanding is that is means "a lack of courage", though some of my colleagues claim the remark can be construed as sexist. I disagree. Can anyone help?

: : Your understanding is correct--"a lack of courage".
: : Just a guess but I think the origin is quite sexist.
: : In the US women are discriminated against in jobs, pay and status. They are second class citizens to males.
: : The phrase is a reference to a woman's lack of a scrotum and, therefore, her lack of status since she does not have the ability to produce testosterone, that manly of all manly body chemicals.

: We can fix this. How about -- "You don't have the ovaries to do that." Or, if someone is cowardly, call him or her "t*tless." What do you think?

I think the metaphor arose from a comparison between men and little boys, not between men and women, and is based on external anatomy, not on endocrine physiology. This belief is totally intuitive. I have no evidence to back it up.