New Pinball Dictionary 

Pinball terms used by the pinball gaming community which may or may not be a part of the official pinball lexicon. Besides, some of these terms are just made-up… ^_^ If you have a suggestion for a nomination to the New Pinball Dictionary, or you would like to support, “second”, or improve something that has already been nominated, you can do any one of the following:

  • Post the nomination on reddit: /r/pinballdictionary
  • Follow me on Twitter here => @FunWithBonus <= and post a @reply to me with hashtag #NewPinballDictionary
  • Follow me on tumblr here => <= and post a reply on my ask page with your suggestion
  • Like the Facebook page here => Fun With Bonus <= and make a post to the page with your suggestion
  • Request to join the Facebook group here => Fun With Bonus <= and make a post there with your nomination

I will note the Nominators and Supporters on each entry when available. The more support an entry gets, the more likely it will be inducted and get a separate post as a New Pinball Dictionary entry. Thanks for your contributions!

Click here to warp directly to the supported nominations.

Click here to warp directly to the nominations.

The Inductees:

Ace / Aced / Aced Out Alley Pass Another Satisfied Customer Bail Out Bally Brick Bang Back Bash Target Batman Shimmy Belsito Big Four Big Six Bleeder Bounce Back Bounce Pass Brick Bubble Boy Cheesing Chemical Warfare Chill Maneuver Chimp Flipping  Chopping Wood Cliffy’d / Cliff-ied Cradle Robber Cradle Separation Dead Bounce / Dead Flipper Pass Death Save Defense Drainbow Drain Train Driver / Bus Driver Drop a Bomb Drop Catch Drunk Driver Eddie Murphy Expo Expressway ExpoGlare Fast Four FLR-ry / FLR-riness Free Look Fun With Bonus Gatekeeper (concept) Gatekeeper (player) Gorilla Flipping Gunching Heartbreaker House House Party In Jail Inlane Pass / Inlane Transfer Killjoy Lance Armstrong Late Night Beat Down Lazarus Lemmings Live Catch Lonesome Loser Loop Pass Maxwell Smart McEwen Strategy / McEwen Special Ock Block Outlane Drain Train Passy Pete Townshend Pinjury Post Pass Pre-Plunge Pee / Pre-Plunge PissRainbowReturn Lane Transfer Robbing the Cradle Rock the Cradle Rollover (one word) Roll Over (two words) Safety Valve Sam Harvey Scottified Straight Down the Middle / SDTMSeal Flipping Shatz / Shatz-pot / Shatz*Bot Shatz the Inlane Shotgun / Shotgun Seat Snail Time Snipe / Sniping Snowman Spider-Man Shimmy Spinnage Split Drain Stack Stack Blocker / Stack Stopper Stage Flipping Stereo Sternament Succubus Super Shatz*Bot Tap Pass  Taxi Turn Tilt Bobble Tommy Dollars Travelling Trifecta Turn Over Up, Over and Gone Viagra Target WPPR-ize Walk Off WPPR-tunity Wicked Shimmy Zombie Ball 

Seconded/Supported Nominations:

Sharpe; Sharpe-ing; Sharpe-out

  • To strategically time out a mode, especially a low scoring or potentially dangerous one, in favor of safer, better scoring opportunities later.
  • Example: It may be wise to Sharpe-out the Supercharger mode on The Getaway if the inner loop and Supercharger shots are difficult for you to make and you want to go for “Red Line Mania.”
  • Example: You should Sharpe-out the New York bulldozer mode on Road Show since the bulldozer targets can cause center drains; they aren’t worth very much during the mode, and you don’t get closer to multiball.
  • Example: “I HATE battle simulation and romulan. I avoid those until I have to collect the battle sim; I’ll try for the level 6 extra ball but if I don’t get the flow down I Sharpe it out.” — Scott Charles.
  • Coined for pinball players and tournament organizers Josh Sharpe and Zach Sharpe
  • Supported by: Evan Bingham, Scott Charles, plus I’ve heard this used at many different tournaments.


  • When you do well at a tournament and you’re waiting for your results to post to the IFPA site.
  • The better you do in a tourney, the longer the results take to show up.
  • The period of time between when a pinball tournament completes and when the results of the tournament are entered into the WPPR ranking system.
  • The better your finish in a tournament, the longer the whopperlag appears to be, which seems to be a practical application of Hofstadter’s Law:
  • “Charlotte’s Law states: If the rate of Whopper-decay exceeds the current Whopper-lag (expressed as the complex relationship between tournament director competence, the number of hours Charlotte Sharpe sleeps at night, and the continued existence of Brian Shepherd) then a player’s ranking will inevitably bleed down to naught.” — Adam Lefkoff
  • Supported and discussed on Facebook including more than 10 “Likes”


The Nominations:

Archie Bunker

  • When two or more family members sweep a pinball tournament. i.e The winners were “All In The Family.”
  • Examples:
    • Josh and Zach Sharpe finishing first and second in a tournament.
    • Andy, Andrew and Ahna Rosa finishing first, second, and third in a tournament.
  • Usage in a sentence:
    • Who won Louisville ? Josh and Zach Archie Bunker’ed it.
    • Do you think Andy and Andrew have a chance to Archie Bunker the MPE next week?
    • Escher and Adam Lefkoff got their first Archie Bunker at Lyons several months ago.
  • Nominator: Adam Lefkoff


  • A series of unsuccessful shots often resulting in extreme frustration, colorful language or skyrocketing levels of near insanity.
  • Eg: I couldn’t score the Royale Jackpot on Spider-man. Must’ve missed it about ten times. I was a total bricklayer.
  • Nominator: Joel Cohen bricklayer

Burger Boy Technique

  • A digital pinball version of Seal Flipping where the player mashes the buttons frantically, hoping for something good to happen.

  • Nominator: Evan Bingham via facebook.
  • Plus, this video had about 55,000 YouTube views in one week, but that was probably a side effect of the other content on that channel.

California Style

  • Showing skillful play for an extended period of time while not holding, catching or attempting to control the ball at all… but yet the player is hitting every shot and just not draining… somehow.
  • It could be called “flailing with a purpose” but it’s not really flailing at all. It’s more like a very high level of flow play. Heard it used a bunch some time ago and it just stuck with me. I can’t remember who or when…

Carrie Bradshaw

  • A synonym for Super Jackpot. Carrie Bradshaw was a character played by actress Sarah Jessica Parker. Her initials are SJP which can also stand for Super Jackpot.
  • Nominator: Eden Stamm

Click-click Drain / Ping-Pong Drain

  • An occurrence where the pinball bounces between the two slingshots only to have one of the slingshots loft the ball over to the opposite outlane. The question is, how many clicks will it take before your ball ends?
  • Example: If a game has wide outlanes, you must find a way to nudge the ball out of the slingshot area whenever it bounces between them. If not, then you will suffer a click-click drain.

Cradle Consolidation

  • The opposite of a Cradle Separation, this move is used during multiball to bring two balls together on the same flipper.
  • There are a few reasons why a player would want to do this. One is so that the player can have a flipper free to work with a third ball that is in play.
  • In the example below, two balls are brought together on the same flipper so that the player can use the third ball that is coming onto the playfield to make high-value warp ramp and other shots.
  • Nominated by: Evan Bingham
  • Seconded by: Steve Ridge, plus 6+ likes on facebook

    Jorian Engelbrektsson on Star Trek at Pinball Expo, 2014

Fathom Flip / Sponge Flip

  • “Referring to the (sup-par) coil stops first introduced on Fathom. Any ball hitting the flipper in the upright position will cause a partial collapse and re-flip which usually arcs the ball right into the outlane.”
  • Nominated by: Keith Elwin



  • A Lazarus ball that occurs when the ball saver is still active. The ball dies and comes back but it would have come back anyway because of the ball saver. Just like Kenny from South Park always comes back.
  • Nominator: Ken Kulig via tumblr.

Kicker Flicker

Kicker Flicker

  • Severe scuff marks or artwork removal that eventually happens around a kickout or where the pinball lands.
  • Nominated by  on Twitter


  • To play a game in the practice bank at a pinball event, and put up a score nobody thought possible, usually with many people watching.
  • Example: He pulled a Lyman and got over 2 Billion points on The Addams Family with a crowd around him taking pictures.
  • Coined for pinball player and programmer Lyman Sheats

Lyman Low/Lyman Lean

  • To stand at the machine with a very low angle to achieve a better view of the game
  • Example: I needed to stand Lyman Low due to the ExpoGlare on the glass
  • Nominator: Cryss Stephens
  • Second: Evan Bingham



  • The act of needing only a single qualification attempt to qualify for a pinball playoff
  • Example: Why can’t I do a Madison and just show up, play once, and be done with it?
  • Coined for pinball player Paul Madison

Magic Johnson

  • To “dribble” an outlaned ball back into play by repeatedly knocking it with the underside of a flipper until it bounces back into play back up the middle.
  • Nominated by: Sven Johnson who reports that players could do this on a Hercules machine with a slightly loose flipper. Please, let there be video of this.

Meltdown / Burndown

  • A maximum “Fun With Bonus” count

Nerves of Steel

  • Synonym for Chill Maneuver


  • To travel a long distance to compete in a pinball tournament. Also known as a “Pinball Pilgrim.”
  • Example: Anyone traveling more than 100 miles will be declared to have “pulled a Newsom” and will receive 2 free mini-tournament entries.
  • Coined for pinball player Chris Newsom

Newton / Newton Balls

  • During multiball when a player purposefully shoots one ball into another that is in danger of draining. The goal is to knock the problem ball out of trouble so that you can stay in multiball.
  • This can be a risky maneuver since both balls are now out of control. It requires a quick decision by the player to determine whether it is worth the risk of both balls draining to try to remain in the high scoring multiball mode.

Office Balls

  • During multiball when two balls collide and clack into each other.  They look like those Newton’s Cradles people keep in their offices.
  • Nominated by: Kalya Greet

Outlane Train Drain

  • To hit the ball off of the train target in Addams Family (also known as the Jackpot target) weak enough so that the ball travels down the train lane and coasts over to the right outlane. To prevent the Outlane Train Drain, the player has to nudge in some way to alter the path of the ball down this predictable pathway.

Pinjury (alternate)

  1. Embellishing about what happened while trying to explain why you were defeated in a pinball game.

Play Pachinko

  • To have a very poor game, usually involving one or more house balls.
  • Example: He was Playing Pachinko on that game; the game lasted only a minute and he was only able to flip at the ball maybe once or twice.

Ring Trifecta

  • A special three-shot combo in Lord of the Rings:
    • collect one Elf Ring via a ring shot
    • combo into another ring shot to light the Mode Start (because now you have 3 Eif Rings)
    • Shoot the Center Ring to start a mode
    • Nominated by Joe Said

Sanjay / The Sanjay

  • The act of wiping the machine before playing and either a tilt or an auto-plunge occurs
  • Unintentionally nominated by Steve Zahler, Joe Said and Jody Jodon

The conversation where “The Sanjay” was born:

Joe Said: I hate the games where you can’t wipe the games down because its going to auto plunge .. Lol

Steve Zahler: The Sanjay would have had a rough time (Mr. Wipedown)

Joe Said: The .. Lol

Steve Zahler: I meant to say “Then”

Steve Zahler: Totally accidentally coined “The Sanjay”!!!!!!

Joe Said: “Then” it wouldnt have been awesome

Steve Zahler: I know!!

Steve Zahler: Autocorrect had a part in coining it!!

Steve Zahler: “The Sanjay” is born!!!

Joe Said: This must be posted

Joe Said: Or just emailed to him .. Lol

Steve Zahler: Please we must propagate this throughout Facebook!!!

Steve Zahler: Omg this is BIG

Jody Jodon: The Sanjay IS the act of wiping the machine before playing and either a tilt or an auto-plunge occurs

The Sanjay is born


Threading the Needle


  • Coming in 2nd in a three- or four-player match (or 3rd in a four-player match) where the difference in scores between the 1st and 3rd place players (or 2nd and 4th place players) is very small relative to the scores obtained on the game.
  • Example: 1st place on LOTR getting 50.3M, 3rd place getting 50.1M and 2nd place Threading the Needle with 50.2M.
  • Nominator: Koi Morris
  • Supporters: 3 “likes” on the Fun With Bonus Facebook page

WPPHore /(h)wäp'-hôr/

  • A player who travels to as many WPPR-ized competitions as humanly possible in an effort to obtain WPPR points.
  • Nominator: Trent Augenstein 

Concepts that need words …

The following concepts were brought up but need words created for them. The words in the headings are placeholders. Any suggestions?

Extension of sniping and defense for PAPA style qualifying?

As an extension of the sniping or defensive playing, there should be a term for purposely tilting your bonus away so as to not score enough to hurt a previous entry.

Purposely sacrificing your bonus so that your reinforcement doesn’t hurt the first entry. At first glance I’m thinking of words in the neighborhood of “casualty” and “sacrifice”.

What’s it called when I look at my top score in an entry, and play to come close but not surpass it?

It’s sort of like defense but slightly different… You are playing purposely not to harm your previous entry with the possibility of putting up another good entry. It’s sort of like “defensive reinforcement”, but I think we can do a little better than that.

— Scott Charles/Jim Fordham

buying the tournament?

Some variation of “buying the tournament” … Donator vs. Benefactor

Not quite short plunge?

What is it called when you plunged the ball by hitting the plunger in, as opposed to pulling the plunger back. Games like Metallica and X-Men benefit from this move, for example. The dictionary doesn’t have an entry for that move yet, so we decided to ask for your help! Let’s suggest some names for that technique! I threw Slap Plunge and Push Plunge out there, but can you think of something more on-the-nose? It’s not quite a short plunge… Hmmmm…

— The Pinball Podcast

Suggestions from contributors: Power Plunge, Slap Plunge, Plunge Lunge. Plunge Palm. Smack Attack,  Shove Shot, Silver Rod Slapper, Slam Plunge, Splunge

Super Powerful Plunge?

What do you think it should be called when you pull the plunger back, grab the edge of the lockdown bar with your fingers, then put your thumb on the plunger… That way, you can push it in extra hard to get a super powerful plunge?

No-tilt exploit?

the overt action of taking advantage of a machine that has a generous or no tilt.

–Frank Romero

Spousal Support?

a term for what a player feels they must do to get in the good graces with the spouse so that the player can go to the next tournament without there being repercussions.