Mark's Pinball Jargon and other pinball stuff

Before you read about the jargon , here are some "Flight 2000" goodies for Stern lovers,which includes info. about 5101 RAMs.
A command summary for Amtex's Royal Flush (103Kb).
Protel 99SE printed circuit board layouts for the Gottlieb "spin relay".
Details for substituting the high voltage transistor in early Bally/Stern power supplies.

A solid state replacement for the mid 70's Williams match unit

Here's a link to Glass Chain ,a great Sydney pop/rock band.

And here's a link to some photos I took bushwalking in the Sydney region.

In the sixties, when I discovered pinball as a school kid, I couldn't help noticing the unique language associated with this pastime (no,not the swearing when the ball drained),all the other stuff.

Pinball is definitely a sub-culture and has it's own descriptive terms that a regular player uses to the puzzled bemusement of inexperienced onlookers. The following list is intended to be a place where you can add unique expressions used only in your distict,country or "neck of the woods". It is not intended to be a list of universal pinball words and expressions like "bumper","ball gate" or "special when lit".

Some expressions may make little sense to outsiders but will form part of a local pinball sub-culture. Then again,players in different countries may find that they unexplainably exclaim the same weird thing to describe certain facets of pinball play.

I've started the list with some expressions that pinball players used,and still use,where I live in the south western suburbs of Sydney,Australia. If you wish to add to the list, Email me at

Expression Meaning
"black it out" Belt the bottom of the machine with the back of your heel to turn it off.
"down the guts" Ball drain.
"lucky number" Match.
"specks" Usually exclaimed excitedly by onlookers when specials are obtained.
"kick it in the guts" Stand one step back from the machine and smash the coin door with your boot,usually performed after a series of drains and accompanied by a four letter word or two.
"pick it up and drop it" Self explanatory.Followed by a very quick exit from the premises before the proprietor catches you. Usually preceeded by a series of bad games and spending all the money you had for the next week.
"thumb it" Propelling the ball from the plunger lane at a much faster rate than normal by placing the fingers of the left hand above the plunger,holding the withdrawn plunger with the right hand fingers while applying much pressure to the plunger with the left thumb.The right hand is suddenly withdrawn and the left thumb violently snaps the plunger in.
"crack the glass" The ball is nudged part way up the plunger lane.When it falls back nearly to the plunger,it is then "thumbed", causing it to skip into the air and violently smash into the glass from the underside as it proceeds to the top of the playfield.
"waxing" Sharing a game with a friend by operating one flipper each. If you were fortunate enough to find money on the street when walking with a friend, they would more than likely say "do you want to wax it ?"

From Darren who used to play in the Ermington/West Ryde area of Sydney :
"ecky ball" Called out when an extra ball is awarded.
"flips" Share a game.Same as "waxing".
"pinnies" A widespread term used in Australia instead of "pinballs".

Expressions from the Californian coast from Andy in San Diego:
"lazarus ball" A ball that has gone down between the flippers and bounces back into play.
"kick in the coin box" Same as "kick it in the guts".
"sling shotting" Hold the flipper up as the ball approaches, then drop it as the ball contacts the flipper and immediately flip again.  Result: a powerful shot.

From Simon who lives at Bath in the U.K. :
"from the grave" A ball that is 98% out and is recovered by awesome play and an act of god.
"Huxley!" A ball (possibly with huge spin and speed) that goes the wrong way up the flipper in-lane. Note: comes from Demolition Man Pinball.
"No legs!" Ball that only goes half way up a ramp

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Bonza the terrier sadly passed away a while back so his friend Snakey has taken over pinball protection duties.Vigilantly keeping cats away from my pinballs.
Snakey - cat  exterminator'

Bally "Eight Ball Deluxe" being checked for cats and kittens.

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Last updated 13th. February 2013. This site created with "Arachnaphilia"

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