Thread: Why English
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Bob Jewett
Northern California

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06-20-2019, 01:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaznj View Post
Why is side spin called English in some parts of the world yet it is called side spin in other parts?
I think that no one knows for sure.

The best reference for billiard-related words, their origins and meanings, is Mike Shamos' "New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Billiards." The earliest example found of the word "English" to mean side spin was in the New York Times in 1873. Shamos points out that the use of side spin was documented in 1806 which pre-dated the invention of the tip by Mingaud (about 1818). Chalk was also used before tips were invented.

Shamos speculates that the usage came about because English visitors introduced side spin. There is a long time between the first use of side spin along with universal use of tips and the first recorded use of "English" to mean side. I've also seen a theory that "english" somehow transmogrified from "angled".


Bob Jewett
SF Billiard Academy
  
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