Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hockey and Puck

Since the Stanley Cup playoffs have begun, and will continue into June, lets look at two of the strangest words in sports.
Hockey (n) - A game played with sticks as in Field Hockey and Ice Hockey.

Nobody seems to know where the word comes from. One source suggests it comes from a stick game played in Ireland in the 16th century - "The horlinge of the litill balle with hockie stickes or staves ...." Another source says the word comes from the French word for a shepherd's crook (hoquet). Then again, maybe the game was named after a British Army officer stationed in Nova Scotia in the 19th century, John Hockey, although the word seems to predate the soldier.

Puck (n) - A disk of frozen, vulcanized rubber used in ice hockey.

This word origin is even more obscure than hockey. It may come from poke, or from the verb puck meaning "to hit" (I didn't even know that verb existed until now).

Photo is of Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player of all time.

No comments:

Post a Comment