- A coarse, typically green woolen material resembling felt, used for covering billiard and card tables.
“The billiard hall’s pool tables still have the original baize from the 1960s, and it’s in surprisingly good shape.”
“I need to replace the baize on this card table, but it’s a great garage sale find.”
“I don’t let any beginners play pool on my new table since my nephew tore the baize on the last one.”
French, late 16th century
Why this word?
Pool and cards players will be familiar with baize, the green felt-like material that covers traditional billiard and card tables. The 16th-century word “baize” comes from the French “baies,” the feminine plural form of “bai,” which means “chestnut-colored.” This color name still exists in gaming circles as the rich light brown of a chestnut bay horse. Baize woolen fabric likely came in this color originally with 16th-century dyeing practices, and many other shades have been recorded as well, but the bright-green baize reigns supreme in today’s billiards halls and casinos.
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