hockey dasher (1926), dasher boards (1942)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Fri Apr 8 19:04:36 UTC 2005

>From today's

This week the DasherCam is getting its maiden run during the Frozen Four,
college hockey's version of the Final Four. Denver, the defending
champion, routed Colorado College 6-2 and North Dakota beat Minnesota 4-2
in Thursday's semifinals in Columbus, Ohio. The Championship Game is
Saturday night at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN.
DasherCam is a robotic, swiveling camera mounted on a dolly atop the glass
on the near-side boards -- also known, and this is one of my favorite
words in sports, as dasher boards or dashers. It whizzes back and forth
between the face-off circles and can follow along as players rush through
the neutral zone. It's similar to that camera NBC uses to zoom along the
track with sprinters during the Olympics.

OED and MWCD11 don't have this sense of "dasher", but AHD4 does ('the
ledge along the top of the boards of an ice rink').  Dashboards for
vehicles were once called "dashers" too (back when a "dashboard" kept the
mud from dashing into your carriage).

* dasher

1926 _New York Times_ 14 Feb. S3/8 Mills was the first skater ruled off
for two minutes when he tossed Captain Watkins and bumped him against the
dasher at the east end of the ice.
1927 _Zanesville Times Signal_ (Ohio) 30 Jan. 4/4 The six positions on a
hockey team are goalie, puck, tripper, right dasher, left dasher, and face
[A facetious Ring Lardner column about hockey.]
1929 _New York Times_ 29 Dec. X13/3 The so-called "hockey-dasher," or low
partition erected around the ice, will be covered with special material
transforming it into a glittering snow bank.

* dasher boards

1942 _New York Times_ 25 Jan. (Magazine) 25/1 Dasher boards are laid at
the edges of the rink-to-be and hose-nozzles begin to spray jets of water
onto the terrazzo.
1942 _Los Angeles Times_ 22 Mar. G14/1 He stamps and slams the dasher
boards in front of his rink-side perch.

--Ben Zimmer

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