Whence the ‘Hockey Puck’….


In honor, perhaps, of the season’s last barbecue weekend, Fork in the Road’s favorite etymologist and Oxford English Dictionary contributor Barry Popik enlightens on the origins of the term “hockey puck” in reference to a burger, especially one that is well done (read: overcooked). Apparently, the Times‘ Flo Fab was the first to use the term on the printed page back in 1976.

From “Eating on the Turnpike” by Florence Fabricant:

“The chopped steak had acceptable flavor, and while the texture was somewhat compressed, characteristic of a machine-formed patty, it was infinitely preferable to the Holiday House version that first emerged like a large, well-done hockey puck and on a second try was medium-rare, all right, but cold in the middle.”