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See also: English


Alternative forms[edit]


Origin uncertain. It is speculated to relate either to people from England introducing the technique for billiards or bowling in the United States, or perhaps from a particular person with the surname English.[1]


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɪŋ.ɡlɪʃ/
  • (file)
  • (file)


english (uncountable)

  1. (US) Spinning or rotary motion given to a ball around the vertical axis, as in billiards or bowling.
    You can't hit it directly, but maybe if you give it some english.
  2. (figurative) An unusual or unexpected interpretation of a text or idea, a spin, a nuance.
    • 1988, Andre Romelle Young (lyrics and music), “Express Yourself”, in Straight Outta Compton[1], Ruthless Records, performed by Dr. Dre:
      Some drop science, while I'm dropping english.
    • 1993, Thomas Cripps, Making Movies Black[2], page 94:
      Preston Sturgis in his Sullivan’s Travels (1942) put some english on the idea in a bit about a filthy, defeated, white chaingang that is invited to a rural black church for an evening of old movies.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ English”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford: Oxford University Press, December 2008.