behind the eight ball


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*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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Durham started today already behind the eight ball, Somerset looking to build on a 95-run lead if the weather allowed.
We are behind the eight ball and we have some work to do," admitted coach Peter Moores.
Looking at the schedule it's not going to get any easier especially now we are behind the eight ball losing the first three.
We were behind the eight ball from the start but we'll go away and lick our wounds and come back stronger for it.
We lost too many wickets early on and from then on we were always behind the eight ball," said Strauss after the match on Sunday.
Neal Wilkins, VCbet: "We were well behind the eight ball after three races and yet again the Coolmore factor proved massively expensive.
The fundamental issue is when Proposition 2-1/2 came into play, the towns were not on a level playing field, and the towns behind the eight ball stayed behind the eight ball.
If you don't know, you're behind the eight ball, because over 1800 other CEOs now have this information.
Woods, who has won the last six majors in which he began with a score in the 60s, said, 'I was behind the eight ball early, but we all understand it's a long way and you just have to keep plugging away.
Worcester, handicapped by becoming the first team to bat second under the newly-installed permanent lights of Sophia Gardens, were always behind the eight ball from that moment on.
Mike Yuan, director for the Centre of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Research at Lakehead University, says tourism in the Thunder Bay region is really behind the eight ball right now.
We are behind the eight ball big time now, but until it's mathematically settled you can rest assured we will battle on.
Companies with huge debt loads start behind the eight ball.
Favourite for the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp in May, Vazira - who had left herself behind the eight ball by bucking as the stalls opened - ran on strongly to finish a threelength second to We Are.
Of course, the people behind the eight ball here are the administrators and like every other fan in the country I'm hoping to see more progress made.