phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: English

Posted by James Briggs on October 06, 2003

In Reply to: English posted by bluegene on October 06, 2003

: Where did the term "put some english on the ball" come from?

I believe it comes from the very English/British/Commonwealth games of snooker and billiards - now taken up around the world, especially in the far east. One of the ways of striking the cue ball is to make it spin by hitting it off centre. In this way the ball can be made to curve around other balls, or bounce off the cushion in an unusal, but planned, way.
Pool came along after these games; hence, to spin the ball was taken to be part of the English game.