Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 25 07:17:40 UTC 2010

I just heard it today in a soccer/football broadcast as well, with the
same meaning--the team that created the most scoring chances
"outchanced" the other but could not score and win the game. But there
are no news links with soccer use.

On the other hand, this is different from a stray GB hit.

The journey's echo, selections; by Freya Stark, 1964, p. 192
[verified in WorldCat as 1st American edition]
> One's sympathy, I reflected, is nearly always tinged with exasperation
> in the 'old world' of Asia : because it is outside our philosophy,
> doomed to failure in an incompatible world in which it is inefficient
> and hopelessly outchanced.

There are also a couple of GB hits where "outchance", n., simply means
"unlikely event"--in both cases it's used with "even": "Even on/in the
outchance that X, there would still be Y." Perhaps the is just a
variation of "on the out chance" (5 GB hits, all with the same meaning),
which is just a variant of "on the off chance".

I've also encountered an odd phenomenon--searching GB for {outchance}
produced 700+ raw hits, all noise. Searching for {"outchance"} resulted
in 4 raw hits (one real, one OCR error). This is rather bizarre behavior
for a search engine and a completely new (to me) idiosyncrasy of the GB

A truly odd one comes, of course, from hockey (and the lone GN hit for

Big win for the Phantoms, Glenn Falls Post-Star, February 6, 2010 1:30 am
> The Phantoms had lost three one-goal games in the last week despite
> outscoring and outchancing their opponents. Friday, they led not just
> in shots, but on the scoreboard.

I don't know how one can outscore, lead on the scoreboard and still lose
the game. Well, the mystery of the scoreboard is solved easily--it was
in the fourth game (which the team won). But the mystery of "outscoring"

> “It was a big win for us. The guys battled hard to a man,” Adirondack
> coach Greg Gilbert said. “We did outchance them, we outshot them, but
> still if we can bury a couple more — we’re getting Grade-A chances and
> not finishing. If we can than maybe it will be a little more than a
> one-goal game.”

A more interesting search result was for {"outchanced" -hockey -puck},
which reduced the number of hits from 213 raw (48 actual, but with three
current-story clusters that number in thousands--all because of a Team
USA GM quote) to 2, but both remaining ones still referred to hockey games.

There are plenty more references in the archives, but _current news_ is
only about hockey.


On 2/25/2010 1:20 AM, Alice Faber wrote:
> On 2/25/10 12:05 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> Apparently this is a regular everyday verb in hockey circles, but I
>> (not being an aficionado) had never heard it until this week, when
>> I've heard/read it a lot during the Olympic competition. I can't
>> tell if it's any different from "outshoot"--Alice, our hockey maven,
>> will know. How frequent is this? There are 22k+ raw hits in google
>> for "outchanced" and about 3600 for "outchance", but no entry in the
>> OED.
> You rang!
> The underlying distinction here (hockey-wise, not grammar-wise!) is
> between a scoring chance and a shot on goal. A shot on goal is a shot
> that would enter the goal, if not blocked by a defender or "saved" by
> the goalie, as well as a shot that actually scores. A shot that hits the
> outside of the net or that flat-out misses doesn't count as a shot on
> goal. A scoring chance, on the other hand, is a cluster of activity that
> can plausibly (although not necessarily) lead to a goal. A single
> scoring chance can include multiple shots on goal. And a shot on goal
> isn't necessarily part of a scoring chance. (And, in the ultimate
> boundary case, you can have a goal scored without there having been an
> official shot on goal; this would most commonly be an "own goal".)
> So, a team that out-chances the other team has more scoring chances,
> whereas a team that out-shoots its opponent has more shots on goal, or
> even more shots total.
> --
> ========================================================================
> Alice Faber                                       faber at haskins.yale.edu
> Haskins Laboratories                            tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
> New Haven, CT 06511 USA                               fax (203) 865-8963
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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