New Pinball Dictionary



Pinball terms used by the pinball gaming community which 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 the New Pinball Dictionary, please post in the contact page, and thanks for your contribution.

The Inductees:

Aced / 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 Bubble Boy Cheesing Chemical Warfare Chill Maneuver Chimp Flipping Cradle Robber Cradle Separation Dead Bounce / Dead Flipper Pass Death Save Defense 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 Outlane Drain Train Passy Pete Townshend Pinjury Post Pass Pre-Plunge Pee / Pre-Plunge PissReturn 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 Snail Time Snipe / Sniping Spider-Man Shimmy Spinnage Split Drain Stack Stack Blocker / Stack Stopper Stereo Sternament Succubus Super Shatz*Bot Taxi Turn Tilt Bobble Tommy Dollars Travelling Trifecta Turn Over Up, Over and Gone Viagra Target WPPR-ize WPPR-tunity Wicked Shimmy

The Nominees:


  • Occurs when a player has a ball cradled on a flipper, takes a controlled shot and misses it. Especially if the player really needs it to claim an important feature or award. Bricks are misses that collide solidly with a post or a rubber and most likely send the ball way out of control.

Burger Boy Technique

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

  • Support for nomination: Evan Bingham on facebook. Plus, this video had about 55,000 YouTube views in one week.

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. Suggested by: Eden Stamm

Chopping Wood

Describes a player who is either:

  • struggling at a game
  • grinding for points on a game by increasing their lead through taking safer shots
  • grinding for points on a game while trying to come back from a huge deficit
  • struggling to qualify at a tournament and continues to complete entries trying to get a decent one.

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.


  • 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

  • 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 [Suggested by Cryss Stephens]



  • 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.


  • 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]

Ock Block


  • Occurs when you shoot the Doc Ock saucer cleanly, but instead of stopping in the saucer, you get rejected and the ball comes right back at you.
  • Example: He tried to get the Super Jackpot at the last moment, but he got Ock Blocked and the ball went SDTM.

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
      • Suggested by Joe Said


  • The act of wiping the machine before playing and either a tilt or an auto-plunge occurs

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]

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.
  • Nominated by: Koi Morris
  • Support for nomination: 3 “likes” on the Fun With Bonus Facebook page


  • It’s a secret to everybody.