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Countdown's Dictionary Expert Susie Dent Explains The Origins Of The Word 'Bollocks'

SPIN 1038
SPIN 1038

08:11 22 May 2018


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*cover picture by Ian West/PA Wire/PA Images* 

The word 'bollocks' has been in the news a good bit recently.

It started when 'No' campaigner John Waters called Eamon Dunphy a 'f***ing bollocks' during an interview on the 8th Amendment referendum which was being held on Dunphy's podcast.

Then, in a rather bizarre turn of events, the Transport Minister Shane Ross reportedly called Independent TD Mattie McGrath 'an out and out bollocks' in the Dail canteen in a row over proposed new road safety laws.

No doubt the word popping up everywhere made plenty of people chuckle and giggle including comedian David O'Doherty, who then put a message out to Countdown's very own English language expert Susie Dent:

Now, we hadn't heard from Susie in relation to this... until now.

She got back to David last night, with an explanation that's so funny for a number of reasons.

Firstly, ballocks doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Secondly, 'arse-ropes' is just an outstanding phrase that needs to make a comeback.


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