For those of you who may be unaware of the meaning of this word, its nearest equivalent is the word ‘nonsense,’ but it has a slightly different nuance. Let me try to edify you.

Talking bollocks has its finest moments in a pub, where it is regarded as a high art form, and part of the etiquette of pub life. Nobody goes to the pub to discuss the finer details of the political crisis in the Ukraine. They go to talk bollocks. But there are different categories.

Firstly there is Amiable Bollocks. This is standard fare where you ramble on about nothing much in particular. It’s a very improvisational performance art. It’s accepted, and even expected, that the conversation will veer wildly from topic to topic, with the directional changes being completely unpredictable like a rudderless ship in a squall. Five minutes of amiable bollocks, and you’ve probably covered the night you got arrested for D&D, your first car, the best route to Stoke on Trent, and your mate’s ex-wife. Things get really unpredictable when people have had a few jars, at which point you’re not talking bollocks but speaking in tongues.

Next we have Pretentious Bollocks. This is usually sourced from the pub bore, and may well be 100% true, but you really don’t care about the subject matter because it doesn’t involve sport, cars, drinking, or sex. However, a couple of guys swapping recipes is strangely not pretentious bollocks, unless it’s a conversation ‘twixt Heston Blumenthal and Marco Pierre White. Other than posers such as them, cookery tips fall slap bang into the amiable bollocks camp.

Lastly, and most irritatingly, we have Complete or Arrant Bollocks. This is where you have some person declaiming loudly and inaccurately on a subject of which they clearly have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever. I myself have been known not to let ignorance stand in the way of having a strongly held opinion, but it’s expected of me, and firmly jumped on. By contrast, there’s a bloke goes in my local who is an absolute ace at complete bollocks, and we all just put our bollocks filters in our ears and try to nod at appropriate intervals.

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