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have someone by the balls

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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]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

How to use have someone by the balls in a sentence

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