Definition of Bolshie in US English:


(also bolshie, Bolshy)


  • (of a person or attitude) deliberately combative or uncooperative.

    ‘I was a bolshie teenager, full of argument’
    • ‘Helen McCrory, plays his partner Rose Fitzgerald, a bolshy barrister who begins the series heavily pregnant with Guthrie's child.’
    • ‘Unsure which way the wind is blowing, the Cabinet is growing bolshy.’
    • ‘I keep picking careers that demand me to be bolshy and not shy, and that's pretty silly, really.’
    • ‘Ah, London, how I love your freezing tracks, your slippery pavements, your panicky, bolshy commuters, your sullen faces.’
    • ‘His story begins in 1972 when Douglas was accosted at a bus stop in Edinburgh by two bolshie 12-year-olds.’
    • ‘As soon as the pest man had finished his work a bolshie member of staff demanded to know what he planned to do with the wasps.’
    • ‘It seems that I turn into a bolshy, opinionated and entirely spoilt six-year-old kid at moments like this.’
    • ‘On stage she played a bolshie British student searching for her mother.’
    • ‘Anyone who questions the actions at any level gets known as being bolshie.’
    • ‘This said, I'm no bolshie hero going to court or engaging in ugly confrontations with inspectors.’
    • ‘Leah is very loud, very mouthy, a typical bolshie teenager.’
    • ‘As seems to happen with American soaps, the cast grow bored with being typecast, get bolshy, and push for stories where they can showcase their skills.’
    • ‘Well, she can be as bolshie as Kevin.’
    • ‘This does not go down well with the ensemble's increasingly bolshie members who do not seem to recognise the irony of their conservative response to the work of a fellow avant gardist.’
    • ‘Even his players are openly bolshie, perhaps hoping to distance themselves from a humiliation at Euro 2000.’
    • ‘Being the bolshie little fourteen year-olds that we were, we told him ‘Sir, you can't make us do that’.’
    • ‘She is the bolshy New York journalist who mixes with politicians and spies.’
    • ‘I'll admit that the language is clumsy in places, and parts could be read as bolshy.’
    • ‘But is this a bolshie minority of stick-in-the-muds who don't like change?’
    • ‘People often wonder why Dr Holloway has such a bolshie streak in him.’
    uncooperative, awkward, contrary, truculent, perverse, difficult, unreasonable, obstructive, disobliging, stubborn, obstinate, unhelpful, recalcitrant, mutinous, refractory, annoying, tiresome, exasperating, trying
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nounPlural Bolshies, Plural bolshies

dated, informal
  • A Bolshevik or socialist.

    • ‘Had I grown up in, say, the Deep South among ribald Lincoln-bashing economists, there's every reason to believe that I'd be a Bolshie with a love of touch football.’
    • ‘Old Bolshies will spin this story to defend Lenin and Communism.’
    left-winger, fabian, syndicalist, utopian socialist
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Early 20th century: abbreviation of Bolshevik.