A question out of curiosity. Probably Not Safe For Work.

Often times, I come across this phrase especially in Hollywood movies and sitcoms. Depending on how it's used, it either means that "someone is just messing around/ kidding" with the other person or "someone wants all the nagging/botheration" to stop.

Wiktionary categorizes it as a vulgar slang with the following definitions:

  1. to seriously irritate or nag someone.
  2. to tease or ridicule someone; to take the piss out of someone.

An example would be the following conversation from the movie GoodFellas, between 2 men.

Tommy DeVito: No more shines, Billy.

Billy Batts: What?

Tommy DeVito: I said, no more shines. Maybe you didn't hear about it, you've been away a long time. They didn't go up there and tell you. I don't shine shoes anymore.

Billy Batts: Relax, will ya? Ya flip right out, what's got into you? I'm breaking your balls a little bit, that's all. I'm only kidding with ya...

Tommy DeVito: Sometimes you don't sound like you're kidding, you know, there's a lotta people around...

Source: IMDB

Suppose, the conversation was happening between two women or it involved a woman in the picture, what slang would used in place of "breaking (someone's) balls"?

I feel there might be some colloquialisms/slang that Native speakers would be using. As a non-native speaker, I am intrigued to know what that phrase might be.

  • 2
    If you wanted a direct opposite, you coooould but probably wouldn't want to say "I'm punting your c***." (I have no problem with the word but I don't want to offend anyone more sensitive than I by writing it out). Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 8:07

5 Answers 5


Yes. Now stop getting on my tits. From Urban Dictionary,

To be really annoyed by someone or something and to express it in a funny exclamation


In lieu of a sufficient gender-correct alternative, I've actually heard women use "busting my balls" for themselves, though one's gotta be a pretty tough chick to pull that off.

  • It's an equal opportunity expression.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 17:19

Busting [someone's] chops is entirely neutral as is getting your goat, and depending on the scenario you might say he's on my ass about this or that...

Busting someone's balls generally, where I live, is more about getting on to someone about something - sometimes just to get a rise out of them, often to take them to task over an issue. Busting chops is generally more to get a rise as is getting someone's goat. So more commonly here, like if you have a harsh boss that is demanding, you'd say he/she is on your ass all the time. I don't hear ball busting very often at all.


Not really a feminine version, but a somewhat neutral one for definition #2 is roasting. From Urban Dictionary:

To humorously mock or humiliate someone with a well-timed joke, diss or comeback.

I've heard it mostly in the context of, ex, teasing one or both members of the couple during wedding speeches.


breaking my female balls

Used by the title character on the popular TV comedy VEEP, Season 1, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Recognizing that females don't have testicles, this is a transferred usage of an anyway usually metaphorical usage when applied to males.

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