Tag Archives: 8 Ball

Behind the Eight Ball / 8 Ball

Eight Ball

What was said? I’m behind the “8 ball” this year.

Did someone really say that? Yes, my friend Jenna texted me that when explaining her tardiness in sending out her annual valentine’s day party invitation.

What does it mean? It basically means at a disadvantage / in a bad situation / out of luck and in the case of the text, it meant the invite was delayed / she had to play catch up!

Origin:  The game of Pool / Billiards. When playing pool, if you are lined up with the cue ball and the eight ball is between the cue ball and the ball your object ball (the ball you are aiming for), you are trapped and have no straight shot. Since you cannot hit the eight ball before you have made all in your group, you are at a disadvantage.  The phrase has been traceable to 1919 per the wikipedia source below.

There are other forms of pool/billiards where the expressions is believed to have originated – from Kelly pool to others, but they all seem to signify that you are out of luck or at a disadvantage.

Sources:

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=behind%20the%20eight%20ball
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/behind-the-eight-ball
https://www.davemanuel.com/investor-dictionary/behind-the-eight-ball/
https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/behind-the-eight-ball.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_pool#”Behind_the_eight_ball”

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