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Canadian Hockey Slang 101
Around this time of year, one thing begins to enter the minds of Canadians across the country: Hockey. To help us all keep up to date with the hockey chatter—and decode those watercooler conversations—the experts at language learning app Babbel have created a guide to all the Canadian hockey slang you’ll need to survive the season.
Barn Burner – This is the kind of hockey game you dream about: one that’s packed with action, fast paced and high scoring.
Hoser – Essentially, a loser. Originally referring to someone who syphons gasoline out of farm equipment with a hose. This common Canadian slang term also derives from a time when the losing team had to hose off the ice to make it smooth again for the next game.
Pylon – A player who moves slowly on the ice, and can be easily skated around.
Plumber – A player that loves to do all the dirty work in the corners. Although your average plumber might not be the most skilled player, they definitely work hard.
Birdcage – Slang for the goalie’s mask, or a helmet with a cage protecting the face. Not to be confused with “Fish Bowls” which have a clear face mask.
Can-Opener – When a player puts his stick between another player’s legs and twists.
Chirp – Trash talk thrown at opponents (including players, the team bench or the referees) throughout a hockey game. Players will “chirp” others to try and throw off their opponent’s concentration.
Dangler – Refers to a player with slick puck-maneuvering skills.
Dump and Chase – A tactic where players dump the puck into the opposition zone and then attack on a forecheck.
Flamingo – When a player is afraid to block a shot and lifts one leg up like a flamingo in order to avoid getting hit with the puck.
Gordie Howe Hat Trick – When a player registers a goal, an assist and a fight all in one game.
Heavy – Short form for “heavyweight,” used to describe a player who is an enforcer on a team or a designated fighter. Variations of this term include “Meathead” or “Cementhead.”
Slewfoot – When a player kicks the legs out from behind an opponent. (A very dirty tactic.)
Chiclets – Teeth, usually used to describe the lack thereof.
Puck Bunny – Female groupies that have an affinity for hockey players. They may know everything (or nothing) about the game, but hockey players don’t usually care.
Sieve – A terrible goalie who lets many goals through.
Tweeners/Five-hole – Scoring a goal between the goalie’s legs.
Gongshow – A chaotic situation during or after a game.
Biscuit – The puck. It goes into the basket (the goal).
Drop the mitts/drop the gloves – The act of throwing off your gloves (or mitts) to get into a fight.
Want to learn more sports slang in your favourite languages? Try learning with Babbel!
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