The Art of Hockey Slang: From Dangles to Biscuits in the Basket

The Art of Hockey Slang: From Dangles to Biscuits in the Basket

Welcome to "The Art of Hockey Slang: From Dangles to Biscuits in the Basket." In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of hockey slang and its importance in the sport. From the intricate moves like "dangles" to the ultimate goal of scoring a goal, referred to as "putting the biscuit in the basket," hockey slang adds a unique flavor to the game. Join us as we delve into the origins, meanings, and usage of these colorful expressions, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the language that truly embodies the spirit of hockey.

The Origins of Hockey Slang

1.1 The Evolution of Hockey Language

Hockey slang has a rich history that has evolved alongside the game itself. As the sport of hockey gained popularity in the early 20th century, players began developing their own unique language to communicate on and off the ice. This language, often referred to as hockey slang, is filled with colorful and creative expressions that capture the essence of the game.

1.2 Influences from Other Sports

Hockey slang has been influenced by other sports, particularly those with similar physicality and intensity. For example, terms like "checking" and "penalty box" originate from the sport of boxing, highlighting the physical nature of the game. Additionally, hockey has borrowed some terminology from lacrosse, such as "crease" and "faceoff," due to the historical connections between the two sports.

1.3 Regional Variations in Hockey Slang

Hockey slang also exhibits regional variations, with different terms and expressions being used in various hockey-loving regions. In Canada, where hockey is a national obsession, certain slang terms like "toque" (a winter hat) and "eh" (a Canadian interjection) have become synonymous with the sport. In the United States, hockey slang may incorporate more American English expressions, reflecting the cultural nuances of the country.

Overall, the origins of hockey slang can be traced back to the early days of the sport, where players developed a unique language to communicate and express the intricacies of the game. This language has evolved over time, drawing influences from other sports and exhibiting regional variations, making hockey slang an integral part of the sport’s culture and identity.

Common Hockey Slang Terms

2.1 Dangles and Dekes

In the world of hockey, "dangles" and "dekes" are terms used to describe a player’s skillful stickhandling abilities. Dangles refer to the fancy and intricate moves a player makes with the puck to deceive their opponents. It often involves quick wrist movements and swift maneuvering to control the puck while skating. On the other hand, "dekes" or "deking" refers to the act of faking out an opponent using deceptive moves and feints. Players use dekes to create scoring opportunities or to avoid being checked by an opposing player.

2.2 Biscuits in the Basket

"Biscuits in the basket" is a slang term used to describe scoring a goal in hockey. The "biscuit" refers to the puck, and the "basket" refers to the net. When a player successfully shoots the puck into the net, it is said that they have put the "biscuit in the basket." This term adds a playful element to the excitement of scoring goals and is often used by fans and players alike.

2.3 Five Hole and Top Shelf

"Five hole" and "top shelf" are terms commonly used to describe specific scoring areas in hockey. The "five hole" refers to the space between a goaltender’s legs when they are in a butterfly position. Players aim to shoot the puck through this opening to score a goal. On the other hand, "top shelf" refers to the upper portion of the net, usually just under the crossbar. Scoring a goal by shooting the puck into the top shelf is considered an impressive and skillful shot.

2.4 Sauce and Snipe

"Sauce" and "snipe" are terms used to describe different aspects of shooting in hockey. "Sauce" refers to a saucer pass, which is a pass that is lifted off the ice, creating an arcing trajectory. This type of pass is often used to avoid defenders’ sticks or to pass over a fallen player. On the other hand, "snipe" refers to a well-placed, accurate shot that results in a goal. It implies that the shooter picked a small target and hit it precisely, often aiming for the top corners of the net.

2.5 Wheeling and Sniping

"Wheeling" and "sniping" are terms used to describe different skills in hockey. "Wheeling" refers to a player’s ability to skate quickly and skillfully around the ice, often demonstrating agility and speed. It is often used to describe players who excel at offensive play and can maneuver around opponents effectively. On the other hand, "sniping" refers to a player’s ability to score goals with great accuracy and precision. It implies that the player can consistently execute well-placed shots to beat the goaltender and find the back of the net.

2.6 Tilly and Mitts

"Tilly" and "mitts" are slang terms used to describe fighting and a player’s skillful hand movements, respectively. "Tilly" is short for "tilt," which refers to a fight between two players on the ice. While fighting is not actively encouraged in hockey, it has become a part of the sport’s culture, and "tilly" is used to describe these intense moments. On the other hand, "mitts" refers to a player’s hands and their ability to handle the puck skillfully. It is often used to describe players who have exceptional stickhandling skills and can control the puck with ease.

2.7 Flow and Salad

"Flow" and "salad" are terms used to describe a player’s hairstyle in hockey. "Flow" refers to long, flowing hair that extends from under a player’s helmet. It has become a popular trend among hockey players, and having impressive flow is often seen as a symbol of style and confidence. On the other hand, "salad" refers to a player’s haircut or hairstyle in general. It can be used to describe any unique or eye-catching hairstyle worn by a player. Both flow and salad have become a part of the hockey culture and are often discussed among fans and players.

3. Famous Hockey Slang Moments

3.1 Gretzky’s ’99’ and ‘The Great One’

One of the most iconic moments in hockey slang history is Wayne Gretzky’s legendary jersey number, ’99’. Known as ‘The Great One’, Gretzky is widely considered the greatest hockey player of all time. His jersey number has become synonymous with greatness and excellence in the sport.

Gretzky’s ’99’ is not only a reference to his jersey number but has also become a slang term used to describe someone who is exceptionally talented or skilled in any field. Just like Gretzky dominated the game of hockey, a person who is referred to as ’99’ is seen as a standout performer in their respective domain.

3.2 Miracle on Ice and ‘Do You Believe in Miracles?’

The Miracle on Ice is a historic moment in hockey slang that occurred during the 1980 Winter Olympics. The United States men’s hockey team, composed mostly of amateur and collegiate players, defeated the heavily favored Soviet Union team in a stunning upset.

The phrase ‘Do You Believe in Miracles?’ is the iconic call made by sportscaster Al Michaels during the final moments of the game. It has since become a popular hockey slang phrase used to describe any improbable or unexpected victory in sports or life.

The Miracle on Ice and the associated phrase have transcended hockey and have become a symbol of hope, inspiration, and the power of the underdog.

3.3 The ‘Gordie Howe Hat Trick’

The ‘Gordie Howe Hat Trick’ is a unique hockey slang term that pays tribute to the legendary player Gordie Howe. This term refers to a player achieving three specific accomplishments in a single game: scoring a goal, recording an assist, and engaging in a fight.

Gordie Howe, known for his physicality and versatility, was famous for his ability to excel in all aspects of the game. The ‘Gordie Howe Hat Trick’ term became popularized to recognize players who display both offensive skill and physical toughness.

Scoring a goal, recording an assist, and engaging in a fight in a single game is considered a rare feat, and achieving a ‘Gordie Howe Hat Trick’ has become a mark of honor and respect within the hockey community.

In conclusion, hockey slang adds an exciting and vibrant element to the sport, creating a unique language that only true fans and players can fully understand. From dangles to biscuits in the basket, these colorful expressions reflect the passion and camaraderie shared by hockey enthusiasts worldwide. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a casual fan, learning the art of hockey slang can deepen your appreciation for the game and enhance your overall experience. So next time you’re watching a game, keep an ear out for these entertaining phrases and join in the fun of deciphering the secret code of hockey slang.