Powder 8s: Ski Slang with Double Meanings

Say what you mean and mean what you say, brah

Skiing is a culture all its own. For the truly committed, we have our own behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that we accept and pass on from one generation to the next. Like any other tribe, we also communicate with our own distinct language. While it has evolved and changed since skiers first skied, the use of ski lingo to describe snow, style, gear, and other members of our clan remains uniquely ours. But don’t get it twisted, here are eight of the words with mixed messages on the mountain.

When you lose it all, including your dignity. PHOTO: Patrick Breen/Flickr
When you loose it all, including your dignity. PHOTO: Patrick Breen/Flickr

1. Yard Sale: Not to be confused with a sale of rear-entry boots, used mattresses, or a pair of Salomon 957 Equipes, typically held in one’s garage or yard. In the case of a skier’s yard sale, these items aren’t on the market, merely scattered on the mountain after Tina takes a tumble.

2. Brah: Though pronounced like the ladies’ undergarment seen strewn among trees lining the chairlift, the term “brah” is a term of endearment used between male skiers bonded during testosterone-heightened moments on snow.

3. Chowder: Costs $13 at the base lodge. Price does not include oyster crackers. Also: heavy, wet, and lumpy snow. Pass.

4. Corn: Delicious when warmed over a charcoal grill in the parking lot on the last day the season. Also: the rough, granular snow you were skiing that same day before you go to the grilling.

5. Hot dog: This man scarfed down 62 meaty weenies in just 10 minutes last Saturday, but we’re talking about that guy who’s flippin’ and flying down the hill, and making sure you’re watching. But you’re not.

6. Champagne: While you may flip your boots into walk mode and guzzle a couple glasses of this bubbly bev for a little après fun, the real gift is when your skis float through this kind of magical powder that is as light as air.

7. Puking: Going too hard at your local ski town bar may lead to some of this, and sure, you can blame it on altitude sickness, but you better rally because if it’s puking outside, that means Mother Nature is dumping big, fluffy flakes of snow so thick you can’t see your own hand in front of your face.

8. Snorkel: That’s one way to pound a beer. But if the snow falls hard enough for long enough (we’re praying to Ullr it does), you’ll need one of these to breathe through the steep and deep, and really, really deep. You can borrow one from the Florida couple who owns ski condos in three states.