PDA

View Full Version : Origin of expression "weight"


A.J. DeAngelo
06-28-2010, 11:58 AM
The recent TCOM thread and an article online somewhere has me thinking about the origin of the expression "weight." Somewhere online recently some smart guy (can't remember who, but remember it was a smart guy) stated that the term comes from the world of horse racing (horses with jockeys have a minimum weight limit under which they have to carry lead weights). That sounds plausible (heck, the word "pool" derives from horse racing) but I don't think it's right. Consider: in pool, the usage is reversed (i.e. the better player must give up weight, not assume it).
If I had to guess I'd say the expression derives from boxing, another sport that was huge during pool's golden era. But I'm not positive. Further research may be in order.

catscradle
06-28-2010, 12:46 PM
The recent TCOM thread and an article online somewhere has me thinking about the origin of the expression "weight." Somewhere online recently some smart guy (can't remember who, but remember it was a smart guy) stated that the term comes from the world of horse racing (horses with jockeys have a minimum weight limit under which they have to carry lead weights). That sounds plausible (heck, the word "pool" derives from horse racing) but I don't think it's right. Consider: in pool, the usage is reversed (i.e. the better player must give up weight, not assume it).
If I had to guess I'd say the expression derives from boxing, another sport that was huge during pool's golden era. But I'm not positive. Further research may be in order.
It derives from horse racing. The weight is added in pockets on the saddle. Ever notice that the first thing a winning jockey does is take off his saddle and go weight in so they know he rode with the weight he was suppose to.
BTW, if you want to see a great horse racing movie see "Phar Lap" it is a true story about a Australian horse who came to America and was beating everything in sight. They just kept adding weight, but he had such heart he kept winning. Ultimately they killed him with weight.

elvicash
06-29-2010, 02:50 PM
Giving up weight means you are making the game harder on yourself like racing with a heavier jockey. It is just more to carry. The better the player giving the weight the less the weight means.

Weight will show up in most games but the player giving it goes not have to let it effect them however when the weight does effect the giver it will show up and frequently in a big way.

greyghost
06-29-2010, 03:09 PM
It derives from horse racing. The weight is added in pockets on the saddle. Ever notice that the first thing a winning jockey does is take off his saddle and go weight in so they know he rode with the weight he was suppose to.
BTW, if you want to see a great horse racing movie see "Phar Lap" it is a true story about a Australian horse who came to America and was beating everything in sight. They just kept adding weight, but he had such heart he kept winning. Ultimately they killed him with weight.

Stupid horse should have asked a pool player.....any of us could have told him weight is a killer lol

timm
06-30-2010, 03:51 AM
I would think that the term came from the use of beam type scales during the early days of the game. Old simple beam scales did not have sliding weights to balance the load. You just had a set of calbrated weights that you would add to the light side until balance was achieved. The amount of weight added is equal to the difference between the weights of the two sides.


When two pool players match up, in order to make an even match the weaker player gets weight added to his side of the scale until it balances. Theoretically you now have an even match. That is why the stronger player "gives up weight" to the weaker player.

In order to be a successful gambler, it helps to "get your finger on the scale" while the game is being negotiated.:)

brandoncook26
06-30-2010, 04:32 AM
I would think that the term came from the use of beam type scales during the early days of the game. Old simple beam scales did not have sliding weights to balance the load. You just had a set of calbrated weights that you would add to the light side until balance was achieved. The amount of weight added is equal to the difference between the weights of the two sides.


When two pool players match up, in order to make an even match the weaker player gets weight added to his side of the scale until it balances. Theoretically you now have an even match. That is why the stronger player "gives up weight" to the weaker player.

In order to be a successful gambler, it helps to "get your finger on the scale" while the game is being negotiated.:)

This is what I was thinking of. Giving weight would make the scale even.

Cornerman
06-30-2010, 04:36 AM
It derives from horse racing. The weight is added in pockets on the saddle. Ever notice that the first thing a winning jockey does is take off his saddle and go weight in so they know he rode with the weight he was suppose to.
BTW, if you want to see a great horse racing movie see "Phar Lap" it is a true story about a Australian horse who came to America and was beating everything in sight. They just kept adding weight, but he had such heart he kept winning. Ultimately they killed him with weight.

Something doesn't sound right about the etymology since the jockey analogy is opposite. Getting weight would be detrimental to the receiver.

Giving weight on a balance scale however would be the same direction as in pool. Getting weight to the lesser would help to balance out the two.

Fred

JB Cases
06-30-2010, 04:44 AM
The recent TCOM thread and an article online somewhere has me thinking about the origin of the expression "weight." Somewhere online recently some smart guy (can't remember who, but remember it was a smart guy) stated that the term comes from the world of horse racing (horses with jockeys have a minimum weight limit under which they have to carry lead weights). That sounds plausible (heck, the word "pool" derives from horse racing) but I don't think it's right. Consider: in pool, the usage is reversed (i.e. the better player must give up weight, not assume it).
If I had to guess I'd say the expression derives from boxing, another sport that was huge during pool's golden era. But I'm not positive. Further research may be in order.

It's exactly the same in pool as it is in horse racing. The better player (faster horse) takes on weight (handicap) to make the race even.

In horse racing trainers will "lay down" and try to make their horses seem slower than they actually are to avoid having to take one more weight.

The "weight" in pool doesn't refer to the spot that the weaker player is getting but instead on the extra burden that the better player is taking on.

"I will give you weight" just means that I will handicap myself. "I need weight" means that I want you to have to work harder to win.

Also in horse racing a horse that takes on more weight as a handicap is said to be "giving weight" so that aligns perfectly with the way we use it in pool.

knifemaker
06-30-2010, 04:59 AM
Giving weight does not mean the game is harder for the better player it just means the game is easier for the lesser player. The better player is still playing the same game.IMO

JB Cases
06-30-2010, 05:26 AM
Giving weight does not mean the game is harder for the better player it just means the game is easier for the lesser player. The better player is still playing the same game.IMO

It depends on the weight. In general though if you are giving your opponent weight then if it's easier for him to win then it's harder for you to win.

I understand your point though. If say a guy gives up the 7/8 then the guying giving the weight still has only one way to win the game, by making the nine - yet he has three ways to lose it by his opponent making the 7,8 or 9.

Weight changes the dynamic of the game - for example if I am giving up the 7/8 then I am not going to leave my opponent shots on the seven at all. If I am not giving up any weight though then I might leave him long low percentage shots on the seven because I don't figure him to get out even if he makes the 7 - but if the seven wins the game then I am not leaving him any shot directly to a pocket.

Just my opinion on it.

jay helfert
06-30-2010, 05:48 AM
Question: Do you know what "horse sense" is?
Answer: It's what horses have that keeps them from betting on humans! :thumbup: