Definition of cushion

This is the raised portion on the side of the table; the cushions are essentially rubber bumpers covered in the table cloth.

24 Random Essential Billiards Terms

A well calculated successful slop shot that is usually hit a little harder than it should be and results in a pocketed ball or two without any fouls.
(Chiefly U.S.) Side spin (english) placed on a same side of the cue ball as the direction in which the object ball is being cut (left-hand english when cutting a ball to the left, and vice versa). In addition to affecting cue ball position, inside english can increase throw.
To disguise the level of one's ability to play in various ways such as using a lemonade stroke; intentionally missing shots; making an uneven game appear "close"; purposefully losing early, inconsequential games. Sandbagging is a form of hustling, and in handicapped leagues, considered a form of cheating. See also dump and on the lemonade.
A highly skilled hustler making money gambling while traveling. Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler was a road player. One of the most notorious real-life road players is Keith McCready.
The area on the table behind the head string.
The origin of the term has been the subject of some speculation but the best explanation known is that in the 1800s, many homes did not have room for both a billiard table and a dining room table. The solution was a billiards table that had a cover converting it into a dining table. Kept in the dining room, play on such a table was often restricted by the size of the room, so it would be placed so that the head rail would face the connected kitchen door, thus affording a player room for the backswing without hitting a wall. A player was therefore either half or sometimes fully (literally) "in the kitchen" when breaking the balls.
To intentionally lose a game, e.g. to disguise one's actual playing ability. An extreme form of sandbagging. See also hustle. See also Match fixing for the synonym "tank", used in sports more generally.
An unintentional and often barely perceptible curve imparted to the path of the cue ball from the use of english without a level cue. Not to be confused with a swerve shot.
Same as stripes, in New Zealand. Compare yellows, high, big ones; contrast unders.
Nearly table-length distance between the cue ball and target object ball, or near cue and object balls and target pocket, i.e. a potentially difficult shot ("you sure left me a lot of green on that one").
The cloth covering the table.
This is a carom shot that utilizes english and only two rails to achieve three cushion contacts.
You can cheat the pocket by angling your shot to go in at the right or left of the pocket opening when sinking a shot. This permits the cue ball to strike the object ball at a different contact point than the most obvious one.
Also straight eight-ball. Same as bar pool. Not to be confused with the games of straight pool or straight rail.
This is an imaginary line that separates the halves of the table by crossing at the middle of the side of pockets.
The heavy, finely milled rock (slate) that forms the bed of the table, beneath the cloth. Major slate suppliers for the billiards industry are Italy, Brazil and China. Some cheaper tables, and novelty tables designed for outdoor use, do not use genuine slate beds, but artificial materials such as Slatrol.
The point on the table surface over which the apex ball of a rack is centered (in most games). It is the point half the distance between the long rails' second diamonds from the end of the racking end of the table. The foot spot is the intersection of the foot string and the long string, and is typically marked with a cloth or paper decal on pool tables.
Also known as a "Dirty Defense" or "Dirty Foul". To intentionally miss a shot (that results in a foul) in order to create a position for the cue ball that makes it hard for the other player to execute their shot. Not to be confused with a "Safety", since a safety is a legal hit.
Also massé shot. A steep curve or complete reversal of cue ball direction without the necessity of any rail or object ball being struck, due to extreme spin imparted to the cue ball by a steeply elevated cue. For Example: shooting with extreme english by holding the cue at a position of 30-90 degrees while applying left or right spin.
Also known as Free-stroking. This is slang for when a player begins to play untroubled and relaxed because they have built up a substantial lead.
Describing a shot which requires one or more balls to be played off several cushions, such as an elaborate escape or a positional shot; "he'll have to send the cue ball round the angles to get good position."
Refers to a person gambling when he has no money. As in, "That jerk can't pay up, he was shooting air barrels the whole time".
In snooker and British pool, the successful potting of all object balls-on in a single frame.
A (principally American) term in eight-ball for either of the set of seven balls (stripes or solids) that must be cleared before sinking the 8 ball. Borrowed from card games. Generally used in the generic, especially in rulesets or articles, rather than colloquially by players. See also group for the British equivalent.
Side spin on a cue ball on the opposite side of the direction of the cut angle to be played (right-hand english when cutting an object ball to the left, and vice versa). In addition to affecting cue ball position, outside english can be used to decrease throw.
This is a shot that is meant to remove one of your opponent's balls that lies near their pocket in the game of one pocket.