Hockey Vocabulary for Dusters

Now that the ponds are freezing over, it’s the perfect time to become fluent in ice hockey, eh? To the uninformed, this may seem like a simple task of learning the rules behind penalties, offsides, and icing. If you’ve ever talked to a hockey player, though, you know that to understand the beautiful game, you must first be able to translate ‘hockey talk’ to standard English.
From hollering for the biscuit to chirping opposing players, hockey players have a language all their own. Lucky for you, we’ve decided to become translators and create the definitive list of Hockey Vocabulary for Dusters (see below).

  • Apple – an assisting pass on a goal
  • Barn – an ice arena or rink
  • Beauty – either a great play or a term of an endearment for a special teammate
  • Bender – a common chirp for opposing players whose ankles appear to bow due to weak skating or skate tying
  • Biscuit — the puck, the small rubber disk with which the game is played
  • Celly – a celebration after a goal or big play
  • Chicklets – teeth, which hockey players are frequently without
  • Chirp — an insult or trash-talk term spoken to an opposing player
  • Dangle – a deke or sweet move (see, ‘Deke’)
  • Deke – a tactical move made by a player to evade an opponent
  • Drop the gloves – when two or more players take off their gloves to fight with their bare fists
  • Duster – a common chirp used for opposing players who haven’t gotten the chance to leave the bench and shake the dust off
  • Flow — this one pretty much speaks for itself (see, ‘Lettuce’) 
  • Fishbowl or Bubble– a plastic face shield on a helmet instead of a metal cage
  • Garbage – the puck when it’s rebounded, a ‘garbage goal’ is a score off a rebound
  • Gino – a scored goal
  • Grinder – a player who focuses more on physical and gritty play than on finesse and goal scoring.
  • Hoser – a chirp from hockey’s early, pre-zamboni days, when the losing team would have to hose down the ice after the game (see, ‘Zamboni’)
  • Lettuce – a term reserved for only the absolutely silkiest head of hair. Sometimes reserved for lower flow that streams out the back of one’s helmet. ‘Lechuga,’ or Spanish for lettuce, is a common substitute (see, ‘Silky’)
  • Pigeon – a standard chirp for a player who just chirps and relies on picking up the garbage of others (see, ‘Garbage’)
  • Sauce – short-hand term for saucer pass, or a pass that lifts a foot or two above the ice to reach a teammate who may otherwise be hard to reach
  • Sick – used to describe something or someone that’s good
  • Sieve – a reference to the perforated cooking instrument used to strain pasta, but applied to a leaky goalie who lets in too many or easy goals
  • Silky – used to describe something smooth like a nice play or luscious head of lettuce
  • Snipe or Snip – a great shot that goes right where the shooter intended
  • Sponge – a common chirp for an opponent who just sits on the bench and absorbs water
  • Sin-Bin – the penalty box where naughty, rule-breaking players are sent
  • Tilt or Tilly – either a game or a fight between two or more players
  • Twig — the stick that a player uses to control, pass, or shoot the puck
  • Zamboni – the big machine used to resurface the ice before, after, or during games
  • Zebras – referees, due to their black and white stripes

We hope this exhaustive list will make it easier to communicate with the hockey player(s) in your life. See you on the pond!