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Is ‘Bollocking’ a Swear Word? Melissa Reddy Raises Eyebrows with On-Air Blunder

Is ‘Bollocking’ a Swear Word? Melissa Reddy Raises Eyebrows with On-Air Blunder

Sky Sports reporter Melissa Reddy has come under fire for using an expletive term while referring to newly signed Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana during live broadcast before the kickoff of the match between Manchester United and Wolves.

She went viral on social media and received mixed reactions. Sky Sports was forced to apologise for the incident. After her slip-up co-presenter Vicky Gomersall intervened to apologise on her behalf. Vicky said: “Just going to apologise to anyone if they were offended by the use of your language there.”

Reddy’s response

Melissa Reddy is popular among reporters on social media and has a fan following of 210k followers on Instagram. Here’s what she said: “He feels that in Onana, he has signed a big personality,” she said. “We’ve already seen glimpses of that. Him bollocking his defenders when they’ve made a mistake. He is calm and assured that both players will drive United to the next level.”

One of her followers said that he didn’t know that it was a bad word. Reddy replied that even she did not know it to be a bad word and that it is widely used in the UK and in her home country of South Africa. It seemed to her that the word she used was the most appropriate in the context of what she was saying.

Should the term be used in football?

The term “bollocking”, according to the Oxford Dictionary of English means “a severe reprimand”. The word’s literal meaning is “testicles” which is why the Sky Sports co-presenter apologised for it on Reddy’s behalf.

It is a vulgar slang commonly used by the working class and has a broad range of meanings. With the passage of time, the term has also come to mean “nonsense”.

The expression “I’ve just been given a bollocking” means “I have received a long and angry feedback about my recent poor performance”. It can also be used as “I was bollocked”.

As versatile as it seems, the word is not allowed to be used on TV. However, it must be kept in mind that the word “bollocking” finds more use in the working class culture in the UK and since football has for long been a big part in the life of the working class, it should not be out of place in football.