Hockey Slang Term Glossary

If you’re new to hockey and have trouble keeping up with a conversation because you’re confused by the slang, here’s a guide to help you.

Barn – Hockey Rink/Arena

Bender – A lousy player who always seems to have his ankles bent.

Between the Pipes – In the net.

Biscuit – A Puck.

Breezers – Hockey pants.

Brain Bucket (or just Bucket) – A helmet.

Celly – A celebration, usually done after scoring a goal

Coast to Coast – When a player carries the puck from his own net all the way to his opponent’s and scores.

Chippy – Getting irritated with one another, usually on the brink of fighting.

Chirp – To talk trash.

Cherry Picker – Player who hangs out in his opponents zone awaiting a long pass.

Dangle – Misdirecting an opponent while handling the puck. See deke.

Deke – A fake out, perhaps derived from the word “decoy”.

Drop – To leave the puck behind or pass it to a trailing teammate.

Gongshow – A rough, intense game.

Grinder – A player who digs deep, hustles to make plays.Usually better known for checking and disruption rather than scoring ability. Like a lineman in football, he works hard but rarely gets recognized for his hard work.

Enforcer – A player who takes on the role of discouraging the opposing team from harassing his goal scoring teammate by imposing the threat of physical harm.

Fisticuffs – A fight.

Five Hole – The area in between the goalie’s legs.Hash Marks – The lines coming out of the faceoff circles providing a guide to where players should be lined up.

Hat Trick – Scoring three goals in one game.

Hoser – A loser. Orginated from the pre-Zamboni days when the losing team had to hose off the ice.

Laser – A quick, well-placed shot.

Light the Lamp – Score a goal so the siren flashes.

Mucker – A physical player who lacks finesse but gets the job done by forechecking, working the boards, etc. He is not afraid to do the dirty work. Usually used interchangeably or in connection with grinder.

One-timer – Taking a hard shot right off the pass without pausing to receive it.

Pipe-fitter/PlumberSee mucker and grinder.

Playing the Point – When a defender positions himself in front of the blue line near the boards in order to keep the puck in his offensive zone.

Puck Bunny – A girl who is more interested in getting the player’s attention than watching the game.

Pylon – Skater who just stands still and is as easy to skate around as an orange cone.

Schoolyard Puck – Pick-up hockey often played in a schoolyard, usually on inline skates.

Shinny – Pick-up hockey usually played on a frozen pond.

Sieve – A goalie with a lot of “holes” meaning he allows a lot of goals.

Sin Bin – The penalty box.

Slapper – A slap shot.

Slot – The middle area in front of the net.

Sniper – Player with an accurate shot who often scores from a distance.

Top Shelf – To put a goal in the upper part of the net.

Tripod – A player who has to balance himself with his stick.

Woody – A wooden stick

Wrap around – To come from behind the net and squeeze it past the goalie.

Wrister – A wrist shot.

What do you think, did I miss anything? Is there a term that would benefit from further clarification? Let me know in the comments. Thumbnail image by jwyg


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  1. Rod said on April 9, 2013

    Trying to figure ought who said:

    cough it up – meaning giving away the puck

    Trolley tracks – meaning when a player gets lined up to take a huge check

    • Name said on December 22, 2015

      Trolley tracks was coined by Don Cherry

  2. Jaz said on April 11, 2013


    • nonya said on June 13, 2013

      for the boys

    • Cooljms said on June 13, 2013

      What I heard, it is either “for the boys” or screwed someone over

    • dusterrrrr said on February 20, 2014

      love ya

  3. Roxy said on April 23, 2013


    • Maxammo said on February 15, 2014

      Goon-not usually a good player but, a big guy used for his muscle. Deterrent from getting pushed around.

  4. Bobby said on May 2, 2013


  5. Ash said on May 8, 2013

    Duster– someone who just sits on the bench and doesn’t play they “gathering dust”

  6. Rocco said on May 21, 2013

    “put some tobasco on that biscuit” – make a saucer pass

  7. SWOOP said on June 6, 2013

    Swoop, to have stolen the puck aggressively during a pass

  8. The Pilgrim said on June 8, 2013

    the crease
    the slot

  9. Briuns Cup said on June 15, 2013

    What place on the ice is referred to when they say “The Umbrella”?

    Is it …. A slang term for the area between the goalie’s leg pads. ….. A blue space resembling an open umbrella?

    • Keegan said on June 17, 2013

      They could be referring to the crease

    • Bruins Cup said on June 17, 2013


    • Johnny said on June 17, 2013

      No, the umbrella is a way of setting up a powerplay. This happens when the point is covered with three players, one being in the center. The other two defensemen/wingers are pinching below forming a shape that looks like an umbrella if you drew a line between them.

    • canadiankid said on November 5, 2013

      Umbrella is a formation on the power play with three shooters up high and two down low. They set the top defenseman up for a one-tee where the point on an umbrella would be.
      Looks like this:
      X X
      X X

  10. Jon Lovorn said on June 16, 2013

    The umbrella is something set up by a team on a powerplay most likely. The players come into the offensive zone and set up like an umbrella. This is usually when 3 players stand in a curve at the top of the blue line to form the umbrella, with the other two players either in front of the net or one down in the corner and the other in front of the net. Kind of complicated response, but hope it helps!

    • Bruins Cup said on June 17, 2013

      Thanks! Makes sense.

      Does it ever mean “The Crease” ?

  11. coyote charlie said on June 22, 2013

    is there a hockey slang word for ones’ nose? I know the term beezer from boxing means the nose but I have a friend who was asking if there was a specific slang word in hockey for nose

    • David said on October 1, 2013


    • Ferda Boiz said on January 11, 2014


  12. Idiot said on September 26, 2013


  13. yo said on October 24, 2013

    Birdcage – when a player wears a cage instead of a visor, or nothing at all.

  14. Cav said on November 4, 2013

    Tripod ….Some one that used their stick to balance …like a camera tripod

  15. notholo said on November 8, 2013

    what is ferda

    • Name said on November 21, 2013

      FERDA- slang for “For the boys”

  16. Bruins said on November 9, 2013

    Bar south- same as bar down. Hitting the bottom of the crossbar and having the puck go in

  17. barnburner said on November 20, 2013

    grocery stick -a player who gets no ice time and simply acts as a divider between the different lines on the team.

  18. Ellye said on November 22, 2013

    What is the expression used when two teams are tied in point standings, but one of those has played Two more games than the other. Is it 2 to give?

    • Joe said on March 19, 2014

      2 in hand

  19. Matt said on December 20, 2013

    Lumber- a wooden stick.

  20. Yo mam said on December 27, 2013

    Tape your ankles? Does it have to do with the term bender?

    • Hockeygirl said on April 25, 2014


  21. eh said on January 8, 2014

    Gino – goal
    apple – assist
    fishbowl – face shield
    clapper – slapshot

    • billnye said on December 28, 2014

      gino snipe

  22. lets check 'em said on January 23, 2014

    Silky Mits- when someone has fast moving hands/quick dekes
    Sniping Twine- Scoring a goal (twine being the back of the net)
    Logo Sniper- Someone who always shoots at the goalies chest, right where the logo would be.
    Sauce- A shot/pass that spins and doesn’t wobble just like a flying saucer.

  23. sniper said on February 5, 2014

    i hate the puck bunnies honestly im a female hockey player and when a girl comes up and says like sauce the biscut and doesnt even know what dangle snipe and celly means it makes me so mad

    • Spencer said on October 30, 2014

      Haha were I’m from we call them puck sluts

    • hockey14 said on December 8, 2014

      We call them puck sluts

  24. bill said on February 7, 2014

    Tendy- goalie. Boni- zamboni

  25. Bendeezy said on February 10, 2014

    Jets, rockets- skates

  26. Bendeezy said on February 10, 2014

    Bucket or lid or dome- helmet

    • Lizi said on August 31, 2015

      At my old barn, there were a load of short skaters and we all called helmets ‘Dazers’ as a tenuous link back to domes:

      Dome ==> like Tie Domi ==> Rent-a-Goalie episode ‘Domi Daze’ ==> therefore it seemed logical to call them Dazers

      Haha, we were odd but you have to admit it has got a ring to it!

  27. Bendeezy said on February 10, 2014

    4th line dust- same as duster
    Twig- stick

  28. Maxammo said on February 15, 2014

    Rink Rat-Zamboni driver

  29. Tex said on March 15, 2014

    Isn’t it about time that hockey broadcasters get it right! Pro hockey players don’t chirp: birds chirp in their social circles. In the arenas of the hockey world players “whine ” to the refs and they “trash” their opponents. Let’s call it the way it should be with verbs like jaw, yap, rip, bad mouth et al.
    Tex from North Huron Township

    • Slapper said on May 11, 2014

      It’s not just the announcers that say chirp every hockey player I know says it.

    • Kurt said on October 31, 2014

      Tex – you are an idiot and don’t know the insides of the game. Duster.

    • Doug Maple said on December 28, 2014

      tex birds dont chirp they tweet idiot

  30. HawkTalk said on April 3, 2014

    You forgot “hoser.” The ultimate insult in Canada. If you lost the game, you had to hose down the ice. Also, when my son played club hockey, shinny was played in the hallways of hotels with the mini sticks on their knees.

    • Lizi said on August 31, 2015

      Deliberately missing the point here, but those mini sticks are one of the best inventions ever. A couple of weeks back I was hospitalised for 6 days after a life-threatening asthma attack at hockey (not exactly bragable but hey) and on the second day my parents brought in my mini stick. After that, it was bottle cap hockey and dekeing on the roller table things haha

  31. Hock said on May 28, 2014

    what does dustpan mean?

  32. Djenx said on May 29, 2014

    What’s another term for your hockey stick?

    • Hock said on June 2, 2014


  33. Zach said on August 16, 2014

    Explain what it means “for the boys”

    • josh said on September 9, 2014

      Do it for the team

    • Riley said on March 27, 2015

      You’re always there to cover your teammates backs no matter what the situation is.

  34. coatsy said on September 9, 2014

    “Sauce” and “sauce boss”

  35. Janie said on October 1, 2014

    Can someone use for the boys in context, like, in a sentence?
    Also, do high school hockey players keep their uniforms/gear at home or at the rink? Do they buy their own equipment?
    (Writing a story that has some mentions of hockey in it. Any help would be appreciated.)

    • Cool dude said on December 10, 2014

      Well it depends sometimes they have special room just for he high school players so there will be another room in there just to put your hockey bag in there or they will lock the door and keep the equipment laying around. But some teams might want you to bring it home

      Also no they don’t provide hockey gear or track pants or anything it would be very expensive but they do make you buy track pants,shirts,etc so the whole team has a uniform

  36. Jacob said on October 9, 2014


  37. a mom said on October 25, 2014

    Son said he got a snipe. I know it’s a kind of goal. What kind?

    • Spencer said on October 30, 2014

      A snipe is simply a well placed shot resulting in a goal. Generally, they are top shelf which means the top portion of the net. A sniper is someone who snipes a lot. Usually I call the term snip just because snipe is so common and everyone says it

  38. Dusty Dangler said on October 27, 2014

    Lettuce – flow or hairstyle

  39. RemmyKim said on November 6, 2014

    What does Rihannaing mean? I’ve been a fan since the team in Indianapolis was called the Checkers and I’ve never heard this term. Maybe I’m getting too old! (-:

  40. HockeyKid said on November 11, 2014

    Duster: someone who sits on the bench all the time
    Plug: aka pylon (Player)

  41. SuperFan99 said on November 13, 2014

    Rink o’ dreams!

  42. Hockeygirl123 said on November 29, 2014


  43. Fred said on December 28, 2014

    Kronwalled- A massive nikolas kronwall hit

    • Lizi said on August 31, 2015

      ‘play Vech’ – someone who thinks they’re Ovechkin but really…they are nowhere near.

      EX.: “oh don’t play Vech, you’re not that good”

  44. studini said on January 3, 2015


    He provided the sand.

  45. Jano Wiedemann said on January 4, 2015

    What does chisel an assist mean?

    • Toppuck said on January 28, 2015

      Worked hard to get it, grinded the play so the final shot was easy.

  46. hawks said on January 4, 2015


  47. Mike m said on January 19, 2015

    Ceiling scraper – Slapshot

  48. Kieran Adamo said on January 19, 2015

    Bardown: Shot that hits crossbar then directly down

  49. Kieran Adamo said on January 19, 2015

    Chel: Refers to any NHL video game

    • Toppuck said on January 28, 2015

      Chel is slang for NHL “I’m going Chel next year” or “I did that in Chel 14 last night” “Sick Chel move man”

  50. MARC said on April 29, 2015

    In the 7th game of the first round of the play offs, one of the Detroit TV announcers said several times that the Redwings were leaving a muddy trail. What does “muddy trail” mean? The other announcer seemed to know but neither one explained to the viewers.

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