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Molly Sequin | | January 4, 2020

35 hockey slang words, defined

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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.

Hockey has developed its own language, adding a whole new depth of fun — but creating a bit of a hurdle for new (and old) fans. 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.

Here are 35 hockey slang words you might hear at a NCAA rink near you, defined:

Apple: an assist

Barnburner: a high-scoring game

Bender: a player whose ankles bend while they're skating

Bottle rocket: when a goal breaks the goalie's water bottle that sits on top of the net

Biscuit: the puck

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. 

Bucket: helmet

Celly: celebration following a goal

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Cheese: the top shelf of the net

Chiclets: teeth

Chirp: to trash talk the opposing team

Clapper: a slapshot

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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

Dirty: term to describe an outstanding deke 

Duster: someone who doesn't get much playing time and collects dust on the bench 

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 

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

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

Gino: a goal that is scored

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

Grocery stick: the player who sits between the defensive side of the bench and the offensive side

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

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

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

Pillows: the goaltender's leg pads

Plumber: maybe not the best player on the team, but a hard working player who does the dirty work in the corners 

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

Sin-bin: the penalty box

Sweater: hockey jersey

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

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 

Sources: FloHockey, Bleacher Report, The Hockey Writers

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