eight

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800-pound gorilla

A person, group, or organization so powerful (either by size or by influence) that it does not need to heed the rules or threats of others. It refers to the riddle "Where does an 800-pound gorilla sit?" (Answer: "Wherever it likes.") Primarily heard in US. Don't mess with that guy; he's like an 800-pound gorilla! These big corporations act like 800-pound gorillas, making up the rules to suit themselves.
See also: gorilla

have one over (the) eight

To have enough alcoholic drinks to be thoroughly inebriated. Primarily heard in UK. I was composed and in control of myself for most of the evening, but somewhere around midnight, I had one over the eight and started making a show of myself. It seems like Jenny makes a point of having one over eight every time she goes out on the weekend.
See also: eight, have, one

be one over (the) eight

To be thoroughly inebriated. Primarily heard in UK. I think someone should drive Jerry home, he's one over the eight. I guess I was making something of a show of myself, but I was having too much fun to realise that I was one over eight.
See also: eight, one

one over (the) eight

1. adjective Thoroughly inebriated. Primarily heard in UK. I think someone should drive Jerry home, he's one over the eight. I guess I was making something of a show of myself, but I was having too much fun to realise that I was one over eight.
2. noun The final alcoholic drink that pushes a person from mild or safe intoxication to being very drunk. Primarily heard in UK. I was composed and in control of myself for most of the evening, but somewhere around midnight, I had one over the eight and started making a show of myself. It seems like Jenny makes a point of having one over eight every time she goes out on the weekend.
See also: eight, one

(a) quarter of (a given hour in time)

A quarter of an hour (15 minutes) before the named hour in time (e.g., "quarter of six" would mean 5:45). Primarily heard in US. A: "What time does the movie start?" B: "Not until a quarter of eight, so we've got plenty of time!" I thought I'd be home already, but with this traffic, it'll be quarter of before I'm back.
See also: given, hour, of, quarter

quarter past (a given hour in time)

A quarter of an hour (15 minutes) after the named hour in time. A: "What time does the movie start?" B: "Not until a quarter past eight, so we've got plenty of time!" I thought I'd be home already, but with this traffic, it'll be quarter past before I'm back.
See also: given, hour, past, quarter

eight ways from Sunday

Thoroughly or completely; in every possible way; from every conceivable angle. Everyone had their money on the reigning champion, but he was beaten eight ways from Sunday by the newcomer. We researched the case eight ways from Sunday, but there didn't seem to be any way that we could win with the evidence at hand.
See also: eight, Sunday, way

eight ways to Sunday

Thoroughly or completely; in every possible way; from every conceivable angle. Everyone had their money on the reigning champion, but he was beaten eight ways to Sunday by the newcomer. We researched the case eight ways to Sunday, but there didn't seem to be any way that we could win with the evidence at hand.
See also: eight, Sunday, way

*behind the eight ball

 
1. Fig. in trouble; in a weak or losing position. (Alludes to the eight ball in pool, which in certain games cannot be touched without penalty. *Typically: be ~; get ~; have someone ~; put someone ~.) I'm behind the eight ball again and can't see how to relieve my dilemma. John is behind the eight ball because he started writing his term paper far too late.
2. Fig. broke. Sorry, I'm really behind the eight ball this month. I can't make a contribution. (*Typically: be ~; get ~; have someone ~; put someone ~.) I was behind the eight ball again and couldn't make my car payment.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

in a difficult situation Simpson's thoughtless remarks put him behind the eight ball, and many people thought he should resign.
Etymology: from the game of pool (a game played on a special table with sticks and numbered balls), in which you do not want to have any ball positioned behind the black ball marked with a number 8
See also: ball, behind, eight

be behind the eight ball

  (American & Australian informal)
to be in a difficult situation and unable to make progress
Usage notes: In a game of pool (= a game in which you hit numbered balls into holes around a table), if you are behind the black, number eight ball you are in a difficult position to take your next turn.
The police are very much behind the eight ball - they've had no more leads on these burglaries.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

In trouble or an awkward position, out of luck, as in His check bounced, leaving Jim behind the eight ball with his landlord. The term comes from pocket billiards or pool, where in certain games if the number eight ball is between the "cue ball" and "object ball" the player cannot make a straight shot. [Colloquial; c. 1920]
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

1. mod. in trouble; in a weak or losing position. I’m behind the eight ball again.
2. mod. broke. I was behind the eight ball again and couldn’t make my car payment.
See also: ball, behind, eight

the eighty-eight

n. a piano. (Pianos have eighty-eight keys.) Sam can really beat the eighty-eight.

behind the eight ball

Slang
In an unfavorable or uncomfortable position.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

In a precarious situation. In certain games of pool or billiards, a player whose cue ball (the ball that strikes the other balls) is behind the 8 ball is unlikely to make any shot. Therefore, to be behind the eight ball is to be in a losing situation.
See also: ball, behind, eight