A parent emailed me the other day with a question on lacrosse goalie lingo –
One question, how did you come up with the “rat” moniker? For me as an old guy, doesn’t seem to totally fit with the quality of your material.
Perhaps the older generation isn’t aware of the slang term – a lax rat – one whose life is consumed by lacrosse. So naturally, I am the lax goalie rat.
This got me thinking of all the lacrosse slang terms that are out there today. There’s a list going at e-lacrosse.com (edit: I’m not sure what happened to e-lacrosse.com but the site doesn’t appear to be live anymore. Link removed.) but that one is missing some tasty gems, like ‘crispy with the rock’. That one also has a lot of non-slang terms mixed in like “assist”.
Today’s post is a fun one. A quick guide to understanding lacrosse slang terms old and new.
Real quick – if you’re new to this site, let me give you a quick intro. I write about lacrosse goalies – tips, drills, mindsets, coaching, and general advice all for lacrosse goalies, goalie coaches, and those interested in learning more about being or training a great goalie. If that sounds good to you – join my email list here.
Lacrosse Slang Terms
One caveat on slang terms – they change constantly and some are completely region specific.
When I was growing up as a kid in California, we used the word “Rad” (meaning cool or awesome) all the time. “That’s so rad!”. But I haven’t used nor heard that word in years, except in rad 80’s movies of course.
All that to say this list of lacrosse lingo may or may not be accurate given when and where you’re reading this.
Here is the full list of alphabetized lacrosse slang terms that either I know, used, have heard or have read about:
ATW – Around the World: similar to BTB except the stick is wrapped around the opposite direction and the shot comes from over the shoulder of the shooting hand. Scored a goal on a sick ATW last game.
Backbreaker: a trick shot where the stick is held by both hands above the head and the ball is shot underhand and behind the back AND between the legs.
Bag / Sack / Bagged Out: the lacrosse stick pocket, a very deep one. How do you throw with that bag?
Ball Hunt / Egg Hunt / Pill Hunt / any slang word for ball + Hunt: a practice ritual where players search for lost balls in the grass, woods, bushes, etc.
Black Hole: a ball hog. Don’t throw it to him, he’s a black hole.
Brave Heart: Where two players from each team take the field, a goalkeeper and a middie. The two middies face off and go one on one full field until one scores.
BTB – Behind the Back: any shot or pass that you throw over the opposite shoulder of the shooting/passing hand.
Hoover: A ground ball machine. A player adept at winning possession on loose balls.
Ice pick: A check thrown “stabbing” downward with the butt of your stick
Indian Pick-up / Baltimore Crab: a method of picking up a ball by rolling the top inside of the scoop over the ball, starting it moving in that direction, while turning the head under the ball quickly to collect it in one motion. Native Americans used this style of pickup given that their sticks had no scoops.
Kayak: One of the harder and less useful checks to throw. Wrap your stick, butt end first around a guy for the check.
Lax: Short for Lacrosse
Laxing: Playing lacrosse
Lax Bro: Short for “lacrosse brothers”. A member of the lacrosse brotherhood. Someone who fully embraces the culture of lacrosse.
Lax Rat: Player who eats, breaths, and sleeps lacrosse.
Laxtitute: Derogatory slang term for a female lacrosse fan interested in the male lacrosse players.
Lettuce / Cabbage / Flow: long hair out the back of the helmet. For the best of the best in terms of flow you’ll want to checkout Bro Bibles All Flow Team. That dude’s got more lettuce than a Whole Foods salad bar.
Lumber (Lay some lumber): slang for a strong defensive check and the impact of that check.
Naked: Wide open. He was naked on the doorstep.
Paddington Bear: Fat goalie.
Peanut Butter: Goal on the top shelf, cause that’s where mom keeps the peanut butter.
Pearls / Cupcakes / Dougie Fresh / Fresh Rocks: brand new white lacrosse balls
Phantom Check / Ghost Check: the mysterious loss of ball control
Pillow / Popcorn / Egg / Gumball / Muffin: A soft shot that’s an easy save for the goalie. Thanks for the popcorn!
Pinwheel / Helicopter / ‘Copter: When a stick gets checked out of the ball carrier’s hands so that it flies into the air spinning like a pinwheel or a helicopter.
Pipe City / Wesley Pipes / Pipe Dreams / Jesus Pipes / Michelle Piper: Hitting the post on a shot.
Plunger: a Face-off move where you half clamp the ball (45 degrees) then keeping right hand on ground raise left hand and butt end of the stick. This distorts the sidewalls of the head of the stick trapping the ball like a plunger.
Possession Shot: A shot way over the goal “on purpose,” to ensure possession to the team.
Rake: trying to pick up a ground ball by putting your pocket over the ball and pulling backward quickly
Ride the Pine: To be on the bench.
Rip Twine: A goal
Rocks / Pills / Bullets / Cookies / Nut / Nuggets / Rock – lacrosse balls
Rusty gate: a check that involved spinning a full 360 degrees and checking them with your back turned
Sauerkraut – Ugly flow
Second Bar Syndrome / SBS – Those who suffer from lack of tilt and are actually looking out of the 2nd bar of the helmet instead of the first.
Shiners / Greasers / Slick Ricks / Butterballs / Marbles / Dusty Rocks: an old used lacrosse ball that has been warm down so much that it’s greasy and shines.
Sick: Good, nice. Sick pass dude.
Steeze: Style plus ease.
Stick Ninja / Stick Doctor: Player who is good at stringing sticks.
Stuff: Close range save by the goalie.
Tennis Racket: A pocket that is shallow, or not broken in enough and doesn’t have much hold. The ball bounces right out of there like a tennis racket.
Tilt: wearing your helmet so that it is angled down towards the ground. Bros got some serious tilt.
Tilt and Flow! It’s magical!
Top Cheddar (aka Top Ched) / Top Cheese / Rip Top Swiss / Premium Gouda / Rip a Duck / Rip Tits / Top Shelf: Shot that scores in the top part of the goal. Ripping the top part of the goal has become so popular these days that this element of slang has taken on a life of its own. Stemming from Top Cheddar, really any cheese variety can be used to refer to the top quadrant of the goal.
Turf Monster / Turf Sniper: The unseen beast that causes players to trip and fall by themselves when playing on turf. i.e., vicious check from the turf monster. Bro got hit by the turf sniper.
Walk the Dog / Pizza Oven / Carry the Pizza: when a player runs down the field carrying the ball in their stick way out in front of them in one hand with their arm extended, and holding the bottom of the shaft. This keeps the ball in the head of the stick without needing to cradle and to avoid checks from behind.
Wand / Spoon / Twig: Lacrosse Stick
Whip: the pockets ability to “pull” the ball down. A stick with too much whip will be very hard to throw with.
Wizard / Dangler: Player who has good stick skills.
Worm Burner / Carpet Burner / Toe Jammer: Underhand low to low shot that skims above the ground.
Yard Sale / Yahztee / Detwigged / De-Spooned / De-Wanded: when a player gets their stick checked out of their hands
Zebra / Stripes: Referee
There you go. Just a quick list of all the lacrosse slang and lingo that I know.
Any of your favorite lax slang terms not make the list? Let me know in the comments.
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About Coach Damon
About Coach Damon
Lacrosse is my passion! The game has given me so much and this blog is my way of giving back to the lax community. Specifically the most bad a$$ part of that community - the goalies! After learning to play goalie from scratch, I wanted to create a site where I could share what I learned with others so they too can become champions in the crease and in life. Learn more about Coach Damon.