I was listening to the end of the Chicago Blackhawks‘ latest hockey game tonight when I caught up on some recent BBC stories on the Internet. This collection of expressions in a Radio 4 essay, “End to end with 15 football phrases from around the world,” reminded me of some of the fun jargon from hockey that can bring funny images to mind while I listen to the radio.
Even the games’ names vary around the world. I’ve looked for hockey results in British papers and found what I’d call field hockey — very disorienting at first, but I did eventually find some ice hockey results that were more my speed. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears play American football to the rest of the world, while soccer’s Chicago Fire play football. Even the word “soccer” itself is a kind of nickname, short for Association football (part of FIFA, or the International Federation of Association Football).
So what’s a flamingo in the photo got to do with hockey? As I explained here in a previous post, a flamingo is what a hockey player does to get one foot and leg away from a puck headed too close to him.
The international collection of football expressions (as most of the world calls soccer) features some animal expressions that I didn’t expect to be quite so different from hockey (or ice hockey, as most of the world calls what the Blackhawks and foes play). The most striking to me is the Hungarian expression “butterfly hunter” for goaltenders. “Butterfly hunters” are flapping their hands to try to make a save. In hockey, goalies have a butterfly position — but instead of flapping their hands, hockey goalies try to cover all four corners of the net they’re defending, as if spreading their wings.
The game’s over and the Hawks have lost. I think they could use the wardrobe or control tower described in the football expressions.
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