break (one's) balls
break (one's) balls
rude slang "Balls" is slang for the testicles, so the phrase in each meaning is usually (but not solely) said of or by a man.
1. To exert oneself to the utmost degree; to put forth the maximum amount of effort or strain. I've been breaking my balls trying to get the new software ready by the release date. Don't break your balls getting over here, there's no rush.
2. To harass, harangue, or pressure one about something, especially for a lengthy period of time. The boss has been breaking our balls over the number of sales our department has made this quarter. I said I would get it done today. Quit breaking my balls!
3. To tease one; to give one a hard time. Aw, come on, dude, I was just breaking your balls. No need to get upset about it.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
break (someone's) ballsand break (someone's) stones; bust (someone's) balls; bust (someone's) stones
1. Sl. to wreck or ruin (someone); to overwork someone; to overwhelm someone. (Potentially offensive. Use only with discretion.) The boss acts like he's trying to break everybody's balls all the time. No need to break my balls. I'll do it!
2. Sl. to kid or tease (someone). Don't sweat what I said—I was just bustin' balls. Hey, relax, he didn't mean it. He was just breakin' your stones!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
break one's balls
see under break one's ass.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
break someone's ballsINFORMAL, VERY RUDE
If a woman breaks a man's balls, she causes trouble for him and makes him lose his confidence. Behind the scenes, this sweet-faced girl was breaking his balls. Note: You can call a woman who behaves in this way a ball-breaker, and describe her behaviour as ball-breaking. Another professor described `Jane Eyre' as a novel written by one sex-starved ball-breaker about another. She worries that people think of her and Jen as ball-breaking, man-hating bitches. Note: These expressions are often used to refer critically to women who seem to enjoy destroying the sexual confidence of men. Note: In this expression, `balls' refers to a man's testicles.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
break somebody’s ˈballs(American English, taboo, slang) criticize somebody in an angry or annoying way: His wife’s breaking his balls about the bills not being paid. ▶ ˈball-breaker noun: That nephew of yours, he’s a real ball-breaker.
break your ˈballs(American English, taboo, slang) make a very great effort
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
break balls to do somethingverb
break one’s ballsverb
break someone’s balls
tv. to wreck or ruin someone; to overwork someone; to overwhelm someone. (Usually objectionable.) I’m gonna break your balls. You understand me?
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.