have (one) by the balls

have (one) by the balls

vulgar slang To have complete control or dominance over one. The image is that of someone grasping one's testicles to subdue them. 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, by, have
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, by, have, someone
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.

have a man by the balls

tv. to have a man in a position where he has little choice but to do what one says. (Usually objectionable.) She’s really got him by the balls. He will go along with whatever she wants.
See also: ball, by, have, man
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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