What Does “Call the Shot” Mean When Someone is in Charge and Where Did the Expression Originate?

“Calling the shots” means being in control or taking responsibility for critical decisions.

The expression comes from a form of billiards.

In the game of straight pool the person shooting is required to specify both the ball he or she intends to strike and the specific pocket he or she plans to sink it into.

In the mid-twentieth century, “calling the shots” moved out of the smoky pool hall and into everyday usage.