phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

English and how to win at pool

Posted by TheFallen on October 07, 2003

In Reply to: English posted by James Briggs 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.

Contrarily enough, and having misspent part of my youth in the snooker halls of south-west London. we do not call it "English" over here in the UK. It's simply called "spin" - or if one's being specific, top, side or back. Applying backspin to a cueball in either billiards, snooker or pool is also known as "screwing" the cueball.

A quick piece of advice for those looking to improve their pool game - take up snooker. Become adequately competent at snooker and pool becomes pathetically easy, given that a pool table is only 1/4 the area of a snooker table and its pockets yawn cavernously open like the proverbial Mersey Tunnel. To back this assertion up, I believe that Alison Fisher is currently the #1 female pool player in the US. Up until 1995, she was the British #1 female snooker player.