have someone by the balls(redirected from have 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.
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]
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.