Hockey Talk: A Breakdown of Hockey Slang, Chirps, and Lingo
While every sport has its own terms and sayings, hockey is on an entirely different level. Hockey players essentially speak their own foreign language, which decades-old phrases being used to reference everything from basic plays and equipment to trash talk and the quality of one’s hair.
To the uninitiated, hearing a string of these phrases in succession may sound like complete gibberish – but you can be sure the message is carefully articulated and highly descriptive.
To help shed some light on the basics of hockey slang, we’ve laid out definitions of some of the more commonly used terms and phrases in the game. This is really just the tip of the iceberg, but wrapping your head around these to begin with will get you started down the path of chirping like a beauty with immaculate salad.
Apple: Another word for assist.
Biscuit: Another word for puck.
Bottle Rocket: A goal that breaks the goalie’s water bottle by popping it off the top of the net.
Bucket: Another word for helmet.
Celly: Short for celebration, as you’d see after a goal or a win.
Cheese: The upper area of the net, specifically in reference to goal-scoring (see also: top shelf).
Cherry-Picker: A player who lurks behind the opposition’s defense in an attempt to get a breakaway or an odd-man rush opportunity.
Chirp: Another word for trash talk.
Clapper: Another term for a slapshot, in reference to the sound made when the blade of the stick contacts the puck and the ice.
Dangle: A quick and often captivating stickhandling maneuver that dekes out a defender. Work on your dangles with our SweetHands and Attack Triangle stickhandling tools.
Dish: Another word for a pass, particularly one that sets a teammate up for a scoring opportunity. Work on your passing skills with our PassMaster passing trainer.
Face Wash: When one player wipes the palm of his glove in the face of another player.
Fishbowl: Typically used as a chirp to reference another player’s helmet with a full plastic shield instead of a cage.
Flamingo: When a player stands on one skate to avoid getting hit in the leg by a shot.
Flow: A compliment in reference to the length, quality, or general beauty of a player’s hair (see also: lettuce, salad).
Lettuce: A compliment in reference to the length, quality, or general beauty of a player’s hair (see also: flow, salad).
Light the Lamp: Another term for scoring a goal, in reference to the lamp behind the net that lights up after scoring.
Lumber: Another word for a hockey stick, despite the fact that most are no longer made of wood (see also: twig).
Muffin: A weak shot that should have been saved after waffling back and forth in the air all the way to the net.’
Pillows: Another term for a goaltender’s pads.
Plumber: A player on the team who may not be the most skilled but who still serves an invaluable role by doing the dirty work in the corners and helping his team win.
Sauce: An abbreviated term for a saucer pass that leaves the ice in order to be more difficult to deflect or intercept. Work on your sauce with our PassMaster passing trainer.
Sin Bin: Another term for the penalty box.
The Show: A term commonly used to refer to the NHL.
Snipe: A goal scored from mid to long range that cleanly picks a corner to sneak past the goalie. Work on your sniping skills with help from our Shooting Tarp, and check out these tips for improving wrist shot power and accuracy.
Tape to Tape: A term used to reference a great pass that travels cleanly from one player’s blade to another player’s blade.
Tic-Tac-Toe: A term used to reference a quick passing play that results in a goal.
Top Shelf: The upper area of the net, specifically in reference to goal-scoring (see also: cheese).
Twig: Another word for a hockey stick, despite the fact that most are no longer made of wood (see also: lumber).
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