Here’s a question again in Jeffery Archer’s The Prodigal Daughter. Richard (husband of Florentina Kane, the heroine of the novel) finds in The Wall Street Journal that Jake Thomas, chairman of Lester’s Bank, took a countermeasure to block Richard’s cornering the stock of the bank in an attempt to take over the chairmanship. It goes:
Richard swore uncharacteristically as he left the table and walked toward the phone, leaving his coffee to go cold.
“What did you say?” said Florentina.
“Balls,” he repeated, and passed her the paper. She read the news while Richard was dialing.
“What does it mean?”
“It means that even if we do acquire 51% of the present stock, Thomas’s authorized issue of further two million shares make it impossible to defeat him.”
– The Prodigal Daughter, Page 244.
I don’t know what “balls” means as Florentina asked back to her husband. I looked for definitions of “balls” pertinent to the usage in the above quote in CED, OED, and Merriam-Webster without success.
What does “balls” mean? Is it used casually in daily conversation?