behind the eight ball

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eight ball

n. Games
1. A black pool ball that bears the number eight.
2. A game in billiards played with a cue ball and 15 object balls in which the winner must pocket the eight ball after pocketing the seven balls numbered either higher than or lower than the eight ball, with the requirement that the cue ball must first strike one of the seven balls allotted to a player for a shot to be legitimate. A player who pockets the eight ball before the other seven automatically loses.
Idiom:
behind the eight ball Slang
In an unfavorable or uncomfortable position.

behind the eight ball

In an unfavorable or uncomfortable position; from the ball in the game of pool that is numbered eight.
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References in periodicals archive ?
where he was contracted to write and direct a collection of short films about character Joe McDoakes, with titles such as "So You Want to Be a Detective" and "So You're Going to Be a Father.
First there would be adverts, then a newsreel, Joe McDoakes, a short comedy film, a cartoon and then the big picture.