have someone by the balls

have (someone) by the balls

vulgar slang To gain complete control or dominance over someone; to have someone at one's mercy. With all that evidence against you, I'd say the police have you by the balls. Sometimes, I think Mark's wife has him by the balls.
See also: ball, have

have someone by the balls

Have someone at one's mercy, as in You have to pay up-they've got you by the balls. The balls here allude to the male genitals. [ Vulgar slang; early 1900s]
See also: ball, have
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