|Posted on May 3, 2010 at 10:26 PM|
Taken from "Cold as a Bay Street Banker's Heart - The Ultimate Prairie Phrase Book" by Chris Thain:
Hockey Pucks - these are not real NHL-approved hockey pucks; they are the frozen horse droppings, or ROAD APPLES, that so many of us played hockey with once upon a time. The usage was so common that it simply became the name for frozen horse manure. A good many boys who went on to become professional hockey stars scored their first goal with frozen horse manure, while wearing magazines stuffed in their socks for shin pads.
On the way to the rink it was routine to pick up several suitable pucks, as they did break up during a game and required replacement. (One set of local rules proclaimed that, if the puck broke when shot on net, the biggest part had to get into the net for it to count as a goal.) It was essential, however, that you remembered to remove unused spare pucks from your pockets before you went home and hung your coat up beside the kitcken stove.
It was also essential to clean pieces of broken pucks off the ice as, being a dark colour, they absorbed the sun and melted into the ice, making for a less than perfect skating surface. In those days, you cleaned more than ice shavings off your skate blades!
While you would have trouble these days finding a hockey game being played with horse manure, many people still refer to the frozen horse droppings as hockey pucks, or horse puckies.