Hockey has developed its own language

If you think being fluent in the English language means you’ll understand everything being said on the rink and in the stands of a hockey game, think again.

Will I ever understand French-Canadians?

— Stomper

So before you watch the next game, here is our hockey dictionary to help you chirp when your team is down and celly when they pull off the win. I am sure that we all can learn something in this list. If you hear of something that should be added, please email the webmaster.

Apple: An assist for a goal

Arm goes up / Arm stays down: A remark made when the Referee calls (or doesn’t call) a penalty by his raised arm.

Barn: Hockey arena

Barnburner: A High Scoring game

Bar Down/Bar Mexico: A type of shot that hits the bottom of the crossbar and shoots right down into the net. All beauties (see below) attempt to go bar down whenever possible, as it is seen as a very impressive shot. Just listen to the sound (PING!) as the puck hits the bar and goes in below.

Bender: A player whose ankles bend while skating

Bisquit: Hockey puck

Bisquit in the Basket: The puck hitting the back of the net on a goal

Blocker: The extra wide hockey stick that Goal Tenders use.

Bottle Rocket: The extra wide hockey stick that Goal Tenders use.

Beauty/Beautician: a player who is loved not only for his skills, but for his personality. He is one of the coolest guys on the team and usually has great stories. He might also have the best flow on the team. 

Breadbasket: term that describes the goalie’s chest. Typically used when describing that you put a shot right in the goalie’s logo.

Bucket: helmet

Butterfly: the act of a Goal Tender to drop to his knees. Then, he would thrust his skates far apart while keeping his knees locked together. This would make him as wide as possible to block the goal opening. All happens in a split second or the puck will whizz by him to go in the net.

Celly: a cele-bration after a goal is scored. Depending on the score, stakes, and opponent, varying levels of cellying is acceptable.

Cherry Picking: When a player, generally a forward, hangs out behind the play waiting for an outlet pass so that he can have a breakaway

Cheese: the top shelf of the net

Chicklets: Teeth (usually on the ice)

Chippy: Players are getting irritated with one another

Chirp: to trash talk the opposing team

Clapper: a slapshot

Coast to Coast: When a player carries the puck from his own end into the offensive end

Dangle: when a player is a deke (or decoy) by making moves to fake out the goalie or opposing player; also used to describe the act of stick-handling

Dasher Boards: These are the “Boards” or barrier that surrounds the hockey surface. The “Glass” is installed on the rail of these boards to protect from flying pucks leaving the ice and hitting the fans.

Deke: To fake an opponent out of position with a movement of the head or body (short for decoy)

Dinger: a pinch of chewing tobacco that players enjoy in the locker room before and after the game.

Dirty: term to describe an outstanding deke 

Dump and Chase: A style of hockey where a team shoots the puck into one of the corners of the offensive zone and then pursues it. This is opposed to carrying the puck into the zone

Duster/Dusty: may or may not also be a bender, but is definitely very bad at hockey, gets very little ice time, and when he does get out on the ice it’s at the end of the game when the score is out of hand.

Dusts it Off: when a defense man quickly stickhandles the puck then dishes it off to a teammate.

Edge: another name for skate blades. A player “looses his edge” if he falls off his skates (on his own)

Egg: when the game ends 0-0 

Face wash: when a player rubs the palm of their glove in an opponent’s face simply to annoy them 

Fight Strap: a strap on the inside lower back of a hockey jersey with a snap to connect to the pants. Used to keep the jersey from being pulled over the head to blind the player while the opposing goon starts bashing his head in. Usually found on Professional and sanctioned jerseys. 

Filthy: another term for a great deke or pass, like “dirty”

Fishbowl: a helmet with a full plastic shield instead of a cage. Typically used as an insult in trash talk. Opinions vary widely on fishbowls, but if you wear one you’re likely one of the best players on the ice, or the worst.

Five Hole: Placing a shot between the goalie’s legs

Flamingo: when a player lifts one leg, standing like a flamingo, to get out of the way of a shot

Flow: long hair — you can see it sticking out of their helmet

For the Boys/FTB: used to describe any actions that the rest of the team enjoys or when a player makes a sacrifice for the team

Freezing the Puck: To hold the puck against the boards with either the stick or skate to get a stoppage of play

Gino: a goal that is scored

Glove Hand: The hand that the goalie catches the puck with, in contrast to his stick hand, which is the hand that the goalie holds his stick in

Gongshow: a game that gets out of control, from big hits or high scores 

Goon: A player who has little other purpose on the ice then to try and get players to fight

Gordie Howe Hat Trick: when players scores a goal, gets an assist and is in a fight, all in the same game

Grinder: A type of player known for his checking ability and work ethic; often associated with a player who is strong defensively, but who doesn’t score many points

Grocery Stick: A player that sits on the bench (possibly with stick in hand) to separate the offensive and defensive players, much like a stick on a grocery store belt to separate different purchases between customers.

Hash Marks: The straight lines emerging from the two big circles in front of both nets. These lines direct players where to line up for face-offs

Hat Trick: The event where one player manages to get 3 or more goal in the game.  Usually, fans throw hats and caps onto the ice to show that player special honor.

Hoser: a trash talk term for calling a player or team a loser. This one has been around for a while — before the Zamboni was created, the losing team had to hose down the ice following the game. 

Kronwalled: a huge hit by a defenseman, named after Red Wings star Niklas Kronwall

Lumber: Hockey stick (used to be made of wood)

Lay the Lumber on Him: a slash or hit with the stick

Lettuce: hair, on the head and the face 

Light the Lamp: scoring a goal — a red light goes off behind the net when a team scores a goal

Lip lettuce: a mustache

Lip Sweater: mustache, typically grown out during the month of November for the “Movember” cause to support male health issues.

Mitts: refers to a player’s hands, often described as silky when a player has great skill. Also refers to a player’s gloves, as in “dropping the mitts” in a fight.

Mucker: Similar to a grinder, but one who adds a more physical temperament to his game. This player tends to stir up trouble

Muffin: a shot that should have been stopped after wavering back and forth in the air all the way to the net

Muzzy: mustache. See also: lip sweater.

Old School Hockey: Back in history, some players are know for their “trick moves” that really show well on the ice. Any one of these moves is “old school” This generally is about blocked shots by goal tenders when they are on their back and the block a shot by raising a foot, arm, or blocker stick in the air.

On the Fly: Players are considered as “flying” when they speed from one end to another. As they go by the neutral zone between the blue lines, substitutions are made from the bench “on the fly” or as they pass by the bench.

One Timer: The act of shooting the puck directly off a pass. The offensive player takes his backswing while the puck is on its way to him and tries to time his swing with the arrival of the puck

Packing a bomb: throwing in a lip of chewing tobacco in the locker room. See also: dinger.

Pigeon: describes a player that isn’t good enough to score goals by himself, so he picks up the trash of his more skilled linemates. Often used as trash talk

Pillows: the goaltender’s leg pads

Playmaker: a player known for great stickhandling and passing, not necessarily scoring

Plumber: similar to a grinder, a player that loves to do the dirty work in the corners and go to the dirty areas. Not the most skilled player, but a hard worker.

Puck Bunny: a girl that is really infatuated with hockey players. They will try to get the players’ attention at all times.

Pylon: a player that is extremely slow out on the ice, and can easily be skated around. Likely a big guy.

Ride the Pine: when a player spends the entire game sitting in the bench, and not getting any playing time. Usually reserved for benders and dusters.

Road Packs: when the team would go on the road for days, the management, booster club, or fans would make up goodies of snacks and drinks they could have while traveling. Strictly watched by coach and no sneaking libations.

Rubber or Frozen Rubber: Hockey puck

Sauce or Saucy: a well-executed saucer pass (a pass that goes in the air and hits back on the ice right before getting to the recipient) that sits flat on the receiving player’s tape.

Salad: beautiful hockey hair. See also: flow, lettuce.

Screened Shot: Goaltender’s view is blocked (or screened) by players between he and the shooter

The Show: the NHL, used in the context of “making it to The Show“, or the Big Leagues.

Sieve: a goaltender who allows a lot of goals, usually referred to as being full of holes

Sin Bin: Penalty box

Slew Foot: an illegal defense maneuver. A player comes up to a man with the puck from behind and wraps his leg around the player in front. Considered as a dangerous and dirty play and if called, delivers a game misconduct ejection. Can cause severe injury to the leg and hip.

Snipe: a powerful or well-placed shot that results in a pretty goal. Every bar down shot is a snipe, but not every snipe goes bar down.

Sweater: hockey jersey

Top Cheese/Cheddar: used to describe a shot that goes in off or right below the crossbar.

Top shelf: “where grandma keeps the good stuff” — the upper section of the goal’s net between the crossbar and the goaltender’s shoulders

Turtle: when one of the players in a fight would rather not and just crouches or falls to his knees and covers himself.

Twig: hockey stick, even though none are made from wood anymore.

Waffle: The flat-looking pad to cover the Goal Tender’s stick glove.  In the past, this pad had dimples in it to resemble a waffle.

Warm Up the Bus: The outcome of the game has pretty much been decided and the visitor is going to lose. The crowd will ask them to “warm up the bus” for the trip home

Wheeling: the act of picking up girls. To be a beauty (see above), you must be very good at being able to wheel girls.

Where Mama Keeps the Peanut Butter: goal scored in the uppermost part of the net.

White Puck: a white colored puck used only for Goal Tender practice. For training to keep eyes on the players when the puck is hard to see.

Wrap Around:
When a player skates around behind the opposing goal and attempts to wrap the puck around the goal post under the goalie

Yard Sale: when a player gets hit so hard that he loses his equipment (stick, helmet, or gloves) and they’re left on the ice after the play 

Zamboni: company that manufactures the most popular ice re-surfacer. In very early days, this was made from an old Willys Zeep with tanks and hoses. (see Hoser, above)