I am seeing an episode of a British sitcom, The Thin Blue Line, where an officer makes a remark

Just once in a while, I"d like to nick someone whose balls have dropped!

What does this sentence mean exactly? I understand that this is an offensive remark, but please excuse me for that.


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It means someone who has started puberty. In your context, they"d like to arrest someone who isn"t a child - they"d like to arrest an adult or teenager.

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From RespectYourself.info

People often use the phrase a guy’s balls drop to imply he has started puberty. What this means is that a his scrotum, the wrinkly sack just behind the penis which holds his testicles, starts to hang a bit lower, away from his body. Technically a boy’s testicles should have dropped during infancy, they literally descend into the scrotum; if this doesn’t happen by the time he is five he will have to have an operation. However, the term – balls-dropped has always been misused to mean a lad has started to produce sperm during puberty.


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I want to add to the current top answer, to contrast it with a different but similar expression "the ball has been dropped". I"m adding this here because someone else might come across your answer when it is this other expression that they are encountering.

This comes from the metaphor of juggling balls. which means something completely different and is not even vulgar as is even part of acceptable corporate office-speak. It means that something that needed constant attention/maintenance was neglected and it is ruined.

The key to distinguishing between the phrases is "ball" versus "ball s". In the plural it almost always means testicles (and is crude) in the singular it refers to this other phrase. A notable exception being "Having multiple balls in the air" it a counterpart to this expression (ie "the ball has been dropped", in this can meaning that there are multiple things and none of them have been yet "dropped") and not testicles.

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Once again, this is a SIMILAR expression but DIFFERENT from the one you have asked about.