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Hockey Speak: The Language of Hockey –



Hockey gamers have their very own language. Study to talk hockey speak and be a real participant.

By Jamie McKinven (together with listings offered by The Hockey Writers and reader contributions)

Hockey speak is ever-changing and continuously evolving. This text was beforehand printed and has been up to date to incorporate extra phrases and phrases.

In hockey, like a variety of sports activities, there’s a completely completely different language used. Identical to the navy has a special lingo for phrases or phrases, hockey speak consists of its personal dialect and distinctive set of phrases.

The very first thing in hockey speak that instantly turns into altered within the hockey world is everybody’s identify. That is normally achieved by cropping a final identify and including a “Y” or an “ER” on the finish of it. For instance, in case your identify is Ryan Jones, you quickly turn out to be “Jonesy.” In case your identify is Jordan Lengthy, you turn out to be “Longer.” This provides teammates a fast and simple deal with when they’re shouting out for one another on the ice throughout a recreation.

Additionally, it’s fairly simple for a hockey participant to be given a nickname (normally one thing recognizing an embarrassing second or facet of 1’s life), which finally ends up sticking. One yr I performed with a man who used to all the time find yourself on the receiving finish of huge hits not less than three or 4 occasions a recreation. We used to say he acquired run over greater than a pace bump on the mall on Boxing Day. Quickly his nickname grew to become “Pace Bump,” and was shortly shortened to “Bump.” One other man I performed with was referred to as “Boobs” as a result of he cherished women with huge breasts (it isn’t all the time one thing intelligent; I imply we’re speaking about hockey gamers right here).

Nicknames apart, hockey speak is filled with unusual pseudonyms and slang that may make for a reasonably complicated dialog to an outsider. Under is a listing of phrases and definitions which might be typically heard within the hockey world:

The A The AHL (American Hockey League)

Agitator One who performs on the sting and tries to get underneath opponents’ pores and skin by enjoying soiled and trash speaking (additionally known as a “Pest”)

Apple (noun): An help

Bagger Quick for “bag skate.” Used to explain when a coach punishes a group by making them skate laborious; generally used merely to raised situation a group.

Bambi A skater who’s so dangerous they appear like a deer simply being born

Band-Assist A participant who’s all the time harm or injured

Bar Down/Bar Mexico A shot that goes off the crossbar and into the online. A purpose scored on this method is most spectacular.

Barn* Hockey enviornment

Barn Burner A recreation that’s excessive scoring, quick paced, and thrilling to look at

Magnificence/Beautician Complimentary time period used to explain a really perfect hockey participant, from a cultural standpoint. These gamers embrace the hockey way of life. (“I like Stewie. He’s a magnificence.”) Usually used to explain a hockey participant who’s acquired nice stream, nice arms, can wheel girls off the ice (see beneath), and all the time has some good locker room tales to share.

Beer League* A time period describing an newbie hockey league, the place the emphasis is totally on the post-game refreshments

Bender One who’s terrible at hockey, and whose ankles bend inwards as a result of his skates don’t match proper, he didn’t tie them tight sufficient, or that he simply plain can’t skate

Birdcage Face masks

Biscuit Puck

Boosties Booster membership members

Bottle Rocket: A purpose scored that breaks the goalie’s water bottle positioned on high of the online

Breadbasket Used to describes a goalie’s chest. Sometimes used when describing a shot that lands proper within the goalie’s group emblem.

Broad Girlfriend

Bucket (or Bucky) Helmet

Bussy Crew bus driver

Can-Opener When a participant places his stick between one other participant’s legs and twists

Celly Celebration after scoring a purpose. The extent that’s acceptable is determined by the rating, stakes, and opponent.

Cheese The higher a part of the online. “Going cheese on the goalie” (see “High Cheese”).

Cheesed While you beat the goalie excessive or go Bar Down on them; i.e., “Scotty cheesed the goalie. Dude had no probability.”

Chel EA Sports activities NHL videogame collection

Cherry Picker A participant who hangs out across the pink line in search of breakaway passes. They all the time neglect their defensive zone chores; also referred to as a “Floater.”

Chiclets* Tooth (or the dearth thereof)

Chirp/Beak The essence of hockey speak. Used to explain the regular stream of insults thrown at opponents all through a hockey recreation. Gamers will “chirp” or “beak” at opponents (or the ref) throughout a recreation in an try and throw off their focus.

Chisel When a participant purposely steals some extent from a teammate by going as much as the referee and stating that he acquired an help on a purpose when he in actual fact didn’t earn one. A participant who gloms factors this fashion is named a “Chiseler.”

Choke a Goose Ingesting vodka (a reference to Gray Goose vodka)

Clapper Slap shot

The Coast The ECHL (East Coast Hockey League)

Coast to Coast When a participant carries a puck from his personal finish to the opposing group’s finish with out passing. Additionally known as “Publish to Publish.”

Dangle A time period at the moment used to seek advice from a slick stick-handling maneuver. A “dangler” is a participant who has nice stickhandling talents and sick strikes. Within the outdated days the time period was used to explain one who may skate quick: “He can actually dangle.”

Deke A decoy transfer that fakes out the goalie or opposing participant

Deuce A two-minute penalty

Higher Hockey Excessive Stickhandling Coach – Versatile Coaching Assist for Abilities and Puck Management – Helps You get Candy Palms – Might be Used On and Off Ice – Utilized by The Professionals

Dig a Trench* A goalie who suffers quite a few consecutive pictures when his group performs poor protection/puck management. Often known as “getting a shelling” or “throw the goalie a shovel.”

Dime A ten-minute misconduct penalty

Dinger Pinch of chewing tobacco that some gamers get pleasure from within the locker room earlier than and after the sport

Soiled A time period to explain an superior Deke 

Drill Killer A participant who all the time messes up drills. Some gamers simply can’t observe diagrams or directions.

The Dub The WHL (Western Hockey League)

Dump and Chase A tactic the place gamers dump the puck into the offensive zone after which assault on a forecheck. A mainstay of hockey speak.

Duster/Dusty A participant who’s unskilled at hockey and will get little or no ice time. When a duster does lastly get an opportunity to play, it’s normally on the finish of the sport when the rating is out of hand.

Egg A scoreless recreation ending in 0-0

Eggs in Your Pockets A phrase used to explain a participant who’s terrified of getting hit. “Donnie skates round with eggs in his pockets, and he’s afraid to interrupt any of them.”

Face Wash A participant that rubs the palm of their glove in an opponent’s face simply to bother them

Feed-Me-a-Wing Go* A neutral-zone cross by a defenseman or heart to a winger, the place the opposing defenseman reads the play and shortly closes the hole on the wing for a “brick wall” laborious verify

Filthy Alternate time period for a terrific Deke or cross (additionally “Soiled”)

Fishbowl Full visor

Flamingo When a participant is afraid to dam a shot and lifts one leg up like a flamingo, in an effort to keep away from getting hit with the puck

Circulate Nice hockey hair. Sometimes lengthy hair that flows out of the helmet when the participant skates.

Footsteps When a participant hurries a play as a result of he’s afraid of getting hit

For the Boys/FTB Describes any actions that the remainder of the group enjoys. Additionally when a participant makes a sacrifice for the group.

Gate When a participant is ejected from a recreation, he’s given “The Gate”

Gino A purpose that’s scored

Gitch Underwear

Gongshow A state of affairs that’s uncontrolled, humorous, or ridiculous; typically used to explain a recreation the place a number of fights and penalties happen. (Additionally the identify of a hockey-lifestyle attire firm.)

Gordie Howe Hat Trick When a participant registers a purpose, an help, and a struggle in a single recreation

Grenade An terrible cross that’s normally a bobbling puck. Gamers will say, “Pull the pin on that grenade” when somebody makes a foul cross.

Grinder A 3rd- or fourth-line participant who sometimes performs on the dump-and-chase line, whose position on a group is to complete his checks and put on down opponents. A tough-working participant.

Grocery Divider/Stick* A back-up utility participant who sits on the bench between the forwards and defensemen. Recognized to steadily slide up and down the bench as if dividing grocery orders on a conveyor belt.

Hanging ’Em Up Retiring from hockey (“hanging up the skates”)

Excessive College Harry/Donny Dangles A participant who tries to do an excessive amount of with the puck and exhibit

Heavy Quick for heavyweight. Used to explain a participant who’s an enforcer on a group or designated fighter. This participant can also be known as a “Meathead” or “Cementhead.”

Holly Hotpants Handsome woman within the stands of a hockey recreation

Hoser Used to explain a loser, sometimes supposed as an insult in trash speak. Comes from the early hockey days when the dropping group needed to dampen the ice with water after the sport (earlier than the Zamboni was invented but).

Houdini Pulling a transfer off accidentally or utilizing sleight of hand, fooling the defenseman or goalie within the course of

Howie Quick type for “Howitzer.” A time period utilized by hockey gamers to explain a really laborious slap shot.

I The now-defunct IHL

IR The Injured Reserve

Iron Lung The group bus. Minor-league groups put a variety of miles in collectively on the outdated Iron Lung.

Jersey Jab When a participant concerned in a struggle makes use of the hand he’s grabbing the jersey with to throw brief rabbit punches whereas hanging onto the jersey

Jibs Tooth

Jungle B or C Junior B or Junior C hockey

Kangaroo Court docket A discussion board the place all participant fines are introduced ahead and tried. Normally a light-hearted affair held as soon as every week.

Kill Penalty kill

Kronwalled An enormous hit leveled on an opposing participant by a defenseman; named after former Pink Wings star Niklas Kronwall

Lace ’em Up Preparing earlier than a recreation

Leaner A prank the place you replenish a bucket of water and lean it towards a door, after which knock in order that when the individual opens the door their toes get doused in water

Lettuce An awesome head of hockey hair (“Circulate”; “Salad”)

Mild the Lamp Rating a purpose; a pink mild goes off behind the online each time a purpose is scored

Liney A linesman. Will also be used to explain one in all your linemates.

Lipper Chewing tobacco. Some gamers wish to chew tobacco on the bus or between intervals of a recreation.

Lip Sweater Mustache. Sometimes grown out through the month of November for the “Movember” trigger to help male well being points (additionally “Lip Lettuce”)

Lug the Mail When a defenseman carries the puck out of his zone

Lumber Hockey stick (additionally “Twig”)

Mitts A hockey participant’s stickhandling potential (“Johnny’s acquired some good mitts on him, eh?”). Additionally hockey gloves.

Muffin A weak shot on web

Muzzy Mustache (additionally “Lip Sweater”)

The O The OHL (Ontario Hockey League)

Off the Schneid* To finish some sort of drought, normally in reference to scoring targets. A definitive hockey speak time period.

One-T Quick for “One-Timer,” which is when a participant shoots a puck that’s handed to him with out stopping it first. Taking pictures a puck because it is available in movement.

Packing a Bomb Throwing in a lip of chewing tobacco within the locker room (additionally “Dinger”)

Pigeon A participant that isn’t adequate to attain targets by himself; she or he picks up the “rubbish” of his extra expert linemates. Usually used as trash speak.

Peeper Energy play

Pepper Grinder Somebody who’s all the time attempting to suck as much as and exhibit for the coaches

Phantom When some extent is given to a participant who hasn’t really earned it. Generally an additional help is given when one isn’t warranted, or a participant who wasn’t on the ice when a purpose was scored is mistakenly given an help.

Pillows The goalie’s leg pads

Pine Tar* A participant who doesn’t get performed and spends a variety of of time caught to the bench (see “Using the Pine”)

Pizza A cross up the center. A high-risk play that usually will get intercepted.

Plug A time period gamers use to make enjoyable of or degrade one other participant. Principally, calling somebody a “plug” is like saying they’re a horrible participant and are simply on a group to fill a slot.

Plumber A participant who is sort of a grinder, and spends a variety of his time digging pucks out of the nook and dealing within the soiled areas of the ice (this participant can also be declared a “Mucker”)

Puck Bunnies/Dirties Women who chase and dangle round hockey gamers

Pylon* A extremely motionless participant who’s routinely skated round by opposing puck carriers

The Q The QMJHL (Quebec Main Junior Hockey League)

Rack A case of beer

Ray Ferraro Hen parmigiana

Using the Pine* One who spends an excessive amount of time on the bench (see “Pine Tar”)

Riverboat Gambler A defenseman who rushes the puck so much and generally is a legal responsibility in his personal finish

Rocket An excellent-looking feminine (could or could not even be a “Puck Bunny”)

Salad Stunning hockey hair (additionally “Circulate”; “Lettuce”)

Sauce A saucer cross, the place the puck is feathered to clear an opponent’s stick and lands flat on the ice

Seatbelt When a combatant in a struggle tries to tie up his opponent as a result of he’s afraid to get hit and needs the struggle to finish

Sh*t-faced Drunk

Shnarples A card recreation that hockey gamers play on lengthy highway journeys

Shnook/Shmelt A primary-year participant or rookie

Shoe Verify A prank carried out throughout group meals at eating places, the place the prankster will crawl on his or her arms and knees underneath the desk and pour ranch dressing or ketchup on an unsuspecting sufferer’s sneakers. As soon as again of their seat, the prankster will start tapping their glass. Everybody else follows go well with in tapping their glass whereas checking their sneakers for sauce. The sufferer has to face up and get napkins and buns tossed at them.

The Present The NHL (as in “making it to the Present”)

Shutdown Pre-game nap

Sieve A horrible goalie that has many holes to shoot by, like Swiss cheese

Sin-Bin The penalty field

Slewfoot When a participant kicks the legs out from behind an opponent. A really soiled play in hockey.

Snipe A purpose, significantly a pleasant purpose. A “sniper” is a participant who scores steadily.

Snipped When a participant is launched or reduce from a group

Snow Cone* A goalie that’s sprayed with snow by a participant who shortly stops whereas the goalie has possession of the puck. Incessantly elicits a minor penalty (also referred to as a “Mr. Freeze”).

Stone Palms A participant who’s a horrible stickhandler

Stripes Referee

Studley Hungwell A participant who will get too cocky or conceited. Generally gamers are likely to get cocky if they’re on a profitable streak and issues are going properly.

Suey Quick for “Suicide Go,” which is a cross made by one participant to a different who’s in a weak place to be hit or blindsided by an opponent.

Sweater Hockey jersey (doubtless as a result of it initially being produced from wool)

Toe Drag A stick-handling transfer the place you utilize the toe of the blade of the stick to drag the puck again, away from an opposing participant. Nearly as in case you are dangling a carrot in entrance of a rabbit after which yanking it away when it tries to chunk it.

High Cheese* Scoring a purpose within the higher space of the online (additionally referred to as “High Cheddar” or “High Shelf”).

The Lure A defensive strategic tactic the place all 5 gamers pull again into the impartial zone and create a log jam, making it laborious for an attacking group to penetrate

Tilt or Tilly A hockey struggle

Trolley Tracks When a participant ventures into the center of the ice along with his head down

Turtle When a participant drops to the ice and covers his head along with his arms when challenged to a struggle

Tweener Scoring a purpose between the goalie’s legs

Twig Hockey stick

The U-Haul The now-defunct UHL (United Hockey League)

Up and Down Winger A winger who goes up and down his wing and easily does his job

Walked When a defenseman is overwhelmed badly on a one-on-one

The Wall The boards surrounding the rink

Wheels Used to explain somebody’s skating potential. Additionally used to explain a participant’s potential to select up or appeal to women (“Joey’s wheeling that woman over there”). As a verb, used on the ice to inform your teammate to skate with the puck.

The place Grandma Retains the Good Stuff A purpose that’s scored High Shelf

The Wiffle The now-defunct WPHL (Western Skilled Hockey League)

The Wire The waiver wire. Gamers are placed on the wire when they’re being shopped round for a commerce or when they’re launched.

Wobbly Pops Beers

The Wrapper Mattress

Yard Sale An enormous hit that causes a participant to lose his gear (stick, helmet, or gloves), leaving them scattered on the ice after the play

Zebra Referee

Zips Stitches (brief for “Zippers”)


One other a part of hockey speak is a robust and frequent use of profanity blended in with common dialogue. Hockey gamers will typically use two or three curse phrases per sentence when across the group within the locker room, weight room, on the ice, or on the highway. Such hockey speak the place profanity is used is simply one other a part of the sport, simply as hockey sticks and highway journeys are.


Degradation and insults are an enormous a part of hockey speak dialog and interplay inside a hockey group, as properly. Gamers are all the time together with insults and little jabs at each other after they converse within the locker room. In a manner, it provides to the closeness and camaraderie of a group. If you happen to aren’t being insulted or degraded, then you might be an outcast on the group and somebody who individuals don’t wish to be round. The profanity and the insults have all the time been a solution to additional instill the machismo and masculinity of the sport, however that’s altering as increasingly girls take to the ice.

*Denotes reader contributions. Be at liberty so as to add your individual hockey speak phrases within the feedback space beneath!

Jamie McKinven scratched and clawed his manner as much as the minors, solely to fall in need of his final dream of enjoying within the NHL. McKinven at the moment coaches his former Junior A group, the Kingston Voyageurs of the OJHL. He’s the creator of the guide “So You Need Your Child to Play Professional Hockey?” which is out there on Amazon and Barnes and For extra data go to his web site,

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