Tag Archives: jargon

The Jargon of Hockey


The informant is a 25-year-old who grew up playing hockey his entire life. He began playing hockey when he was only three years old and played until age 24. We were teammates for two years in the BCHL, a junior hockey league in British Columbia, Canada. The informant has used jargon from the hockey community for most of his life.


The Folklore was collected through a scheduled zoom meeting with the informant where we discussed memories of playing hockey together, and common jargon used by the hockey community. He learned most of it through other hockey players. There is not really an origin point that can be located for any of the specific parole, but it is all widely circulated and known jargon. I experienced and partook in some of this jargon as well throughout my 19 years of playing hockey, and we discussed some very strange, almost humorous jargon that somehow was universally known and used among the hockey community.

Main Piece:

‘Huge Tilt’: A major fight in a hockey game. “Mike and Kleysen had a huge tilt last night”

‘Chirp’: To trash talk another player. “Mike has been chirping me all game”

‘Dangle’: To deke or outmaneuver another player. “Did you see me dangle that defenseman?”

‘Muffin’: A shot on goal that was very poor or weak. “Mike was throwing muffins on the net all night”

‘Lettuce’: Nice hair of another player. “Mike has the best lettuce on the team”

‘Gong show’: A game that gets out of control from big hits. “Our game against Penticton last week was a gong show”

‘Grocery Stick’: A player that doesn’t get much playing time. “Mike chirps way to much for a grocery stick”

‘Apple’: An Assist. “Mike had an unreal apple last period”

‘Bingo’: A goal. “Mike had three bingos last night”

‘Biscuit’: The puck. “Hey Mike, you got to get me the biscuit more often in the offensive zone”

‘Cheese’: Scoring in the top portion of the hockey net. “Mike went cheese on their goalie”

‘Barnburner’: A high-scoring game. “We had a barnburner last week… everybody was putting up points”


The Jargon of hockey players is something that many people find humorous. Some comedy tv shows such as “Letterkenny” have even been created making fun of the parole used. Personally, I did not find any of this language funny when I played hockey growing up. It was just the way we communicated with each other. However, being a few years removed from the sport, it seems almost ridiculous that the informant and I spoke this way for most of our lives. What is very interesting to me is that this specific parole is widely known and used among the hockey community, and almost all the jargon is comprised of real English words, yet none of them mean their literal English definitions. If someone were to use this jargon with anyone outside of the hockey community, they would not understand what you are saying and most likely view it as very abnormal speech. Although within the hockey community, nobody would bat an eye at the obscure phrasing of these words and perfectly understand what you are communicating to them. Many of the words are typically used together as tropes among the hockey community, and these tropes would surely confuse a person unfamiliar with this hockey jargon.

For another version, see Jacob Tierney, February 7, 2016, “Letterkenny”.


KS is a 56 year old father of five who grew up in and resides in Southern Maryland. He has worked in the credit industry for almost 15 years and is in high standing at his current credit union.

Context: This term is used the office when two or more employees are talking about a client and was collected over dinner. KS does not believe in the use of this word but hears it often.


Collector: So you have worked in the credit industry for a very long time. Is there any slang or jargon that you guys use at work?

KS: Some people might call someone who is behind on their loans a “deadbeat”. It is not a nice term to use but it gets the point across when discussing a client.

Collector: Can you explain more of your thoughts about the term?

KS. Of course. I, uh, have found that folks in higher economic standing use the term more often. I feel, think that those who have been there before take the term more offensively because they understand how it is. Folks tend to put people down without knowing their situation. You never know why someone is past due on their loans… Although our job is to hand out the loans and not do personal background checks, I still don’t find it right to talk about folks like that.

Thoughts/Analysis: This is significant because all occupations have their own jargon and the credit industry is a smaller industry that one might not find a lot of research on. Although “deadbeat” has one connotation, it also has different meanings across different folk groups, thus variation being especially prevalent. This word can be interpreted as a reflection of classism because those who have been in the position where they are late on paying their loans understand how it is to be at that point.

For variations of occupational folklore, see: Elliot Oring, 1986, Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction, Page 75



The informant is a sophomore studying Film Production at USC.

Main Piece:

“Yeah, we usually call things by like, their names, but I guess it’s not technically their names either… like how those fresnels are ‘tweenies’ or ‘baby baby’ or something. Oh, you know what’s the stupidest one? C-47s. Like, I just want to know who came up with that one, it’s so dumb.”


I asked my informant about any specific terms they’ve heard on film sets. The “C-47s” that the informant mentions is jargon for clothespins on film sets. Fresnels are a specific type of light.


This is an example of occupational folklore. To an outsider, using these terms may be confusing, but within film sets, this jargon is generally standard knowledge, though there are variations depending on regions. In usage, one would generally hear jargon in a conversational setting (eg. “Can you hand me a C-47?” “Can you set up a tweenie?”) There are a variety of stories and reasons why the word “C-47” is used for clothespins, probably the biggest one is that it’s much shorter and more informal to use. Personally, I think the word itself is a bit pretentious (and the informant also mentions that), but people will generally still throw around the term because it’s more in use.

What’s the BLUF?


This piece is about the BLUF acronym that is used in the military law career when giving information to commanders.

Main Piece:

I had a career in the military, in the Army as a lawyer, and one of the things in the Army is that there is not always a lot of time for like long explanations or details when you’re working with a commander and what they always say is “what’s the BLUF?” And BLUF is bottom line up front. So basically, you might want like as a lawyer three pages of analysis, but they’re like “give me the BLUF.” And that’s just like “okay. Yes you can do it and here’s why.” And you always have to put the BLUF at the beginning of any papers you write or any information you give.”


The informant has had a 25 year long career in the JAG branch of the Army and picked up this lingo as part of her job. She has worked under many commanders and used quick lingo such as BLUF in daily language at the offices. The subject has lived all over due to her military career, from Hawaii, Kansas, Virginia, and Germany. She is originally from Buffalo New York. She says she remembers this particular acronym and saying because it was used so often.

My Interpretation:

Growing up in a military family as well, I definitely see how this phrase/acronym could be used in daily language. My parents would speak in codes that seemed like a different language. Hearing one of the phrases explained is interesting for me, almost like learning a definition for a word you should know, but were always too afraid to ask because it seems like common knowledge. I think if you are around this kind of phrase everyday, then it is just common knowledge. For civilians, I never hear this phrase being used in the work environment.