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Countdown's Susie Dent Explains Origins Of The Word 'B*****ks'


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If you've been on the Internet recently, you may have seen a headline featuring the word 'bollocks'.

It's not the most common word in major newspapers, but two incidents have given the insult some increased prominence.

When journalist John Waters stormed out of a podcast recording with Eamon Dunphy, he bluntly told the broadcaster: "You're a bollocks. You're a f***ing bollocks."

Transport Minister Shane Ross, meanwhile, is reported to have called the Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath an 'out and out bollocks' during a row in the Dáil canteen.

Comedian David O'Doherty took to Twitter to look for an expert opinion after the unexpected prominence of the word:

A few days later, Countdown's 'Dictionary Corner' lexicographer and etymologist Susie Dent responded:

So next time you hear the word used, you can point out that bollocks has a 'completely neutral' origin - although it will surely continue to offer up some colourful headlines.


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