Have or show some "sack" as statement of testicular fortitude. When did this become a common saying?

The statement of having the “sack” to do some daring or difficult deed vs the old standard “balls” is all over popular culture these days, and is commonly seen in the movies, comics, and online.

Where and/or when did this term originate? I don’t recall this usage being poplar until the last year or two.

I have never heard it until just now. Can you offer some citations commensurate with “all over popular culture these days”?

Never heard it either, and I’m in Uni so I don’t think I’d be out of the loop in new vulgar slang.

I’ve only heard this regarding vehicles with good acceleration, ie: “This Prelude has some sack.”

As you point out, it is pretty easy to determine from where the term derives. I see it no more odd than someone describing an act as “ballsy” or saying “he must have some cojones to [xyz].”

ETA: The car example as been around for the last five years, at minimum. It even seems to have fallen out of regular use among my contacts.

I dunno, but it sure makes me see the “Mr. Sack” story arc in Peanuts a lot differently.

For some strange reason I have two separate mental images associations of when I first recently heard it(recently being within the last 4 years or so). I have a mental Image of an Dignified iron-women(like a Judi Densch playing a Thatcher type) sneering “you don’t have the sack”

I also Have an association of it with a Guy Ritchie movie.

For the hell of it, I decided to google it. In the first 50 hits for “show some sack” the earliest ref was in 2004. I feel like I’ve been hearing people say it longer than that, though.

I’ve never heard this, and I wish I never had!

Which one? I don’t remember it from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch or RocknRolla.

The whole “balls” machismo meme has me confused. These vulnerable and pendulous glands are for helping make babies. Why would that sell overpowered cars?

Balls => Testosterone => Aggression, Speed, Machismo, Manliness

It’s in the Avatar movie and in numerous recent comics. I’d have to do some more digging to get it out of all the articles I’ve read. In addition to the uses cited it seems to have replaced “you don’t have the guts” in some circumstances.

It’s generally spoken by the villain or some grizzled veteran prodding his team or his troops.

I have a macho work colleague who uses it as the OP describes. I had to shut down him using it during executive meetings - I really didn’t need to have him discuss whether someone “had enough sack” to close a deal…

I suppose it’s the same line of reasoning that inspires one to purchase those dangling doo-dads thingy for the back of their rides. A concept that leaves me seriously :confused:

Then while we’re sort of on the topic, I could never look at the Fleetwood Mac cover of Rumours the same way once my wife pointed out the similar visual reference that I had never noticed.


In 1993 a FOAF started using ‘sack’ as a ‘non-offensive’ substitute for other words. The way he explained it, it ‘sounds’ harsh but the word itself is just a bag. So: ‘The sackin’ car won’t start!’ or ‘The freeway was sacked’. I picked it up, and still use it; partly because I generally try to avoid dropping the F-bomb, and partly because it confuses or amuses people.

Mick Fleetwood, while a solid drummer, is a bit of douchebag. I read his autobiography this past year and he discusses how the original FM was into the male genetalia as almost a trademark. They had an 18" dildo with a suction-cup base that they’d attach to the front of the kick drum, Fleetwood wore those balls starting back then and even had a stick shift customized on a Ferrari he had…

…whatever. :rolleyes:

Seems to me that the more you gotta talk about it…

Me too. While it’s easy to see how by the process of synecdoche the testicles come to be seen as symbolizing stereotypically male chutzpah, when you step back a bit it’s difficult to understand how such a vulnerable piece of equipment inspires much bravery.

I mean, while certainly the ovaries can be hurt, having dangly bits that can be easily hurt doesn’t do anything to increase my bravery!

Contrary to popular belief, one’s “sack” is not easily hurt. When it is hurt, it is very painful of course, but it is not particularly vulnerable. many sports and all of general life are handled easily with no protection whatsoever. Anyone with normal or semi-normal reactions will protect them in a fight - a kick to the balls just doesn’t happen and is a huge gamble to try in a fight.

In high school and college, I was a lacrosse goalie and I was only hit by a shot in the groin once. I was down for a few minutes, and I needed a new cup, but I was not really injured. I’d think mountain bike riding is far riskier to that area, and I would never dream of wearing a cup while riding.

No idea regarding sack outside medieval military terms, but testicular fortitude I first heard either late nineties , early 2k . Triple X in the WWF at the time ,was using it for some particular goading.

I would imagine its just a way of saying no balls in a polite conversation.


This is a popular term among 20 somethings of an urban background. I blame rap (but I could be wrong).