As part of its winter at Westminster program, Westminster College held a skiing/snowboarding jargon contest in January and February, inviting its skier-students, as well as the general public, to submit skiing and snowboarding words that aren't in the dictionary to a Web site called Addictionary.org.

When the smoke had cleared, some 70 words and phrases had been submitted, topped by the winning entry, "Chowda," sent in by Alan Miller, who won a couple of ski passes, although no dictionary, for his effort.

Chowda — to fall on one's face, causing one to "chow on some powda."

As a public service in the land of the Greatest Snow on Earth, here is a sampling from the rest of the Westminster words (you can see them all at Addictionary.org), along with others submitted by people on the staff at Ski Utah and other local ski/board enthusiasts, most of whom were just fine with remaining anonymous:

You won't find these words in the dictionary, but you will on the hill.

Beater: bad skier.

Biff: to crash.

Blower: really light powder.

Bomb hole: huge crash site.

Case it: to crash hard.

Dank: cool, awesome.

Face shots: powder shots.

Fakie: riding backward.

Flailer: someone who constantly crashes.

Free refills: skiing/riding the same run over and over because it's snowing so hard your tracks keep filling in.

Freshies: fresh snow.

Gaper: bad skier.

Gaper gap: patch of exposed forehead between hat/helmet and goggles; derivation of Gaper.

Gaperiffic: lots of Gapers in one place.

Goggle gap: same as Gaper gap.

Garage sale: a bad wreck with poles, goggles, skies and gloves flying in every direction (same as yard sale).

Gnarly: cool, awesome and scary.

Gnar gnar: beyond cool, awesome and scary.

Sicky gnar gnar: super beyond cool, awesome and scary.

Huck: getting air.

In the back seat: a novice skier who's leaning back.

Junk show: person walking through parking lot dragging their coat, losing their gloves, skis going one way, poles another.

Mank: heavy, sun-baked snow.

Noodler: old-school skier who skis straight up and down.

Nuking: snowing hard.

Pow: powder.

Rack it: to hit something hard with your body.

Schralp/schralping: getting after it; skiing/boarding hard.

Schralp the gnar: to shred the pow pow.

Septic: sick powder day.

Shred: to carve with style.

Sick: cool, awesome.

Sketch: iffy, risky.

Smoove: smooth wind-buff pow.

Snowflake: One who shirks all responsibility to ski or ride on a powder day.

"Sorry, dude": how a snowboarder says hello.

Sup: how a snowboarder really says hello.

Still spill: to make it to the bottom of the run successfully and then fall over for no explicable reason.

Switch: skiing backward.

Texas stretch pants: blue jeans.

The kind: really, really good; almost perfect.

Touron: mix between tourist and moron.

Two foot flu: condition that strikes employee/student after it has snowed 2 feet.

Yard sale: see garage sale.


Knowing the words, though, doesn't cut it unless you know how to string them together. For a good example in walking the walk and talking the talk, I spoke to Katalyn Dalton, a 15-year-old ninth-grader at Treasure Mountain International School in Park City, who explained why she was wearing a neck brace:

"I was skiing in the terrain park, and I hit the down box. It's like a box that's like going downward, slanted downward, and then I did a 270. It's like, say you're skiing straight and it's like pretty much three-fourths of a turn, and one I like didn't land. I landed straight, and you're supposed to land slanted or you'll like fall, and I hit the box and cased it, like really hard. And I laid there for a little bit and got back up and started skiing again, and then I hit this box that's called a C box that's in a shape of a C, and it's slanted and everything. And I was skiing switch, and I also did a 270 onto that one, but when I got to the center of it, my skis slipped and I racked it. I like hit my rib cage, and I got knocked out, and I woke up a little later and the ski patrol was there, and they were being like, 'Well,' and I was like, 'No worries, I'm fine.' But like, they wouldn't let me leave."


Lee Benson's column runs Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Please send e-mail to [email protected] and faxes to 801-237-2527.