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Ski Slang: Help a Europhile Out - Page 3

post #61 of 86
Sorry if I sounded to authoritative in my last post. I honestly haven't heard "brah" in the any context pre-2000. It's quite possible that it was in fact used many years ago and recently came into use again.

"Gaper" does come from the "gaper gap". Somehow the pronunciation of the "a" changed. I think it was because people tend to "gape" at gapers because they are shocked and disgusted at their ignorance and complete idiocy. Again, "gaper" is probably one of those words that someone came up with a while ago and has only recently appeared in certain areas.

Agreed- "wack" is an adjective and "whack" is a verb. However, saying something like "we whacked the ski slopes", even with the "correct" spelling, is still such a wack thing to say. You could technically take your hand and whack a ski slope, but it's unlikely.

"Gnarly" is also apparently one of those old words that have come back. Though nowadays, "gnar" and "gnar gnar" are more often considered the hip slang.


completely unrelated side note: Telluride got DUMPED on and there was a snow day for Telluride High School, the first ANYONE can remember. Ever.
post #62 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
There was someone who misspelled "gnarly" in a post a few months back, spelled it with a "K." Now, every time I ski something difficult bordering on dangerous, I say "oh man, this is K-Nar" (as in "A-Rod").
Haha. I think I might start saying that, if you don't mind. Maybe if we all start using "K-nar" we can start our own slang word and pass it on to a few skiers who are just that cool.
post #63 of 86
Wasn't it HighwayStar ? More than gnar, ie knar ?
post #64 of 86
Thread Starter 
Don't know, but I want to pronounce it K-Nar (kay-nar). If I'm expropriating something, I will desist.
post #65 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollysimo View Post
..."Gaper" does come from the "gaper gap"...
And "ski" comes from "ski poles" (because Polish people use them).
post #66 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
Wow, who knew we'd go off in this direction. But thanks Jer for your timing on the term "gaper". By the way, do US skiers still say yardsale after a fall in which the skier loses all his gear? I used to love hearing that at Waterville or Cannon, with the New Hampshire accent (yahd sale!).

Both myself and all my skier buddies still use the term "yahhd sale" when a fellow skier creates a spectacular event in which they lose all their gear, possibly even googles, gloves and hat!!!
post #67 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollysimo View Post
Sorry if I sounded to authoritative in my last post. ...

"Gaper" does come from the "gaper gap". Somehow the pronunciation of the "a" changed.
But not if you sounded Two authoritative in this one?

Sometimes the entymology of words, like gaper are lost. You can speculate, but do not pontificate.
post #68 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfr View Post
Gaper comes from a familiar to everybody image of a beginer skier with a gap (of various sizes, the bigger the better) between the goggles and hat/helmet.
Did we flunk english or spelling or both?

Gapper would be "gap"

Gaper is "gape" like grape etc.
post #69 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by spud6414 View Post
Did we flunk english or spelling or both?

Gapper would be "gap"

Gaper is "gape" like grape etc.
How bout we just go back to "Greenhorn" or spice it up and start calling them "Gringos". I'm thinking of the hefty dude with a mullet wearing a snow mobile suit complete with Ski Doo gloves up to the elbows.
post #70 of 86
Personally, I've become very fond of the term "touron".

As an ambassador (or dilettante) between two worlds, I have a responsibility to cross-pollinate between cultures, so I would like to introduce the climber's gaper: the "gumby."



It actually makes no sense to me, as you would think that Gumby would have all the makings of a great climber.
post #71 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
How bout we just go back to "Greenhorn" or spice it up and start calling them "Gringos". I'm thinking of the hefty dude with a mullet wearing a snow mobile suit complete with Ski Doo gloves up to the elbows.
I just call them flatlanders!
post #72 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipirate View Post
Both myself and all my skier buddies still use the term "yahhd sale" when a fellow skier creates a spectacular event in which they lose all their gear, possibly even googles, gloves and hat!!!
Hey! I resemble that remark........
post #73 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
Gaper is many years old... probably pre-turn-of-the-century. Doesn't THAT phrase make you feel old?
More than "probably" pre-turn of the century. My ski buddies in grad school used the term "gaper", that was in the mid/late 80's.
post #74 of 86
Harry_Morgan-

Sorry about the to/too mix-up; it must have been a typo. I tend to correct people's grammar a lot, so I'll roll with it.
post #75 of 86
Anyone remember what the original term .... Geek ... meant?
post #76 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
gaper .... just an evolution of the word "tyro" that was the dominant and more polite term when Bob and Yuki started skiing ...

A description of the look on their faces .... "agape, to stare in awe with open mouth ... "
The term gaper was widely used in the ski racing circuit of the late-1980s in the western U.S. And it had nothing to do with facial expression; rather, it had to do with having a gap between the top of the goggles and the edge of a ski hat, which would reveal either hair or exposed skin. It was a look that you'd typically see on tourists from non-ski country - the same people who wore the shiny, noisy, over-insulated navy blue ski bibs, the hat with the big pom-pom, and the strapless-grip poles.
post #77 of 86
I always just assumed gaper was a reference to the gaping space between the legs of crappy skiers. Granted I haven't done much slanguistic study, what do I know?
post #78 of 86
Since someone bothered to wake up a long-dead thread that I missed the first time:

I doubt that "Gaper Gap" is the source of the term "Gaper." More likely, the coinage of the alliterative phrase helped make it catch on and stay current in the skiing context. I think it's likely that "gaper" (like most of the other terms) originally comes from outside skiing, and referred generally to a tourist, who wanders around gaping at the local landmarks that bore the in crowd.

"Boot pack" we used to say back in the '70s, or possibly '60s. Maybe it means something different nowadays? To me it means: take off your skis and walk around in your boots in order to pack the snow, when it's so soft and loose that just trying to pack it with your skis won't work. People used to do it to race courses sometimes.

"Post-hole" is also old. I'm pretty sure alpine hikers have used it for a long time. It doesn't mean "hiking," so much as being stymied while trying to hike.

"Frontside" / "backside" are pretty recent, I think. So far as I can tell, the source is "backcountry," which obviously is an old word with a meaning outside skiing. I suspect it just sort of got modified into "backside," then "frontside" was an obvious coinage to refer to "that which isn't." Anyway, it works better than frontcountry, which is so rhymey it sounds like a children's song.
post #79 of 86

Speaking Of Things Euro...

So if Bridgette Bardot is pronounced bar-doe in French, how would you pronounce maggot?
post #80 of 86
essss-haole ...
post #81 of 86
Guess you set the char broiler on high there Yukster.

Kaj
post #82 of 86
Okay ... just another enlightening piece of information on "gaper:" once you get past the number 1, "duh" definition ("one that gapes"), Merriam-Webster has an interesting second definition for gaper:

"any of several large sluggish burrowing clams (families Myacidae and Mactridae) including several used for food."
post #83 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post
I doubt that "Gaper Gap" is the source of the term "Gaper." More likely, the coinage of the alliterative phrase helped make it catch on and stay current in the skiing context. I think it's likely that "gaper" (like most of the other terms) originally comes from outside skiing, and referred generally to a tourist, who wanders around gaping at the local landmarks that bore the in crowd.
The word Gaper dates back at least to the mid 19th century, and the entymology would indicate that it much more likely to have followed it's original meaning "One who gapes" (Chambers, 1878) than a person with a gap between their hat and goggles. I can recall the word used well back before the term "gaper's gap" was used in my hearing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post
"Boot pack" we used to say back in the '70s, or possibly '60s. Maybe it means something different nowadays? To me it means: take off your skis and walk around in your boots in order to pack the snow, when it's so soft and loose that just trying to pack it with your skis won't work. People used to do it to race courses sometimes.
The more common usage of the term now is setting a hiking trail, usually on slopes too steep to allow skinning. It is close to the meaning of "postholing", but has a slightly different connotation. "Postholing" is usually a derogatory term for someone who punches deep footsteps into a skintrack.
post #84 of 86

Etymology and Derivation of the term "Gaper"

So in an effort to get to the bottom (ahem, more on this later...) of this term I spent some time researching online at various dictionaries. The usual dictionaries such as American Heritage were not of much use other than to establish that gape is derived from the old norse gapa via the middle english gapen. Apparently there is also an avian disease that goes by the name gapes but this has nothing to do with what a bird may do to a gaper:
gape PRONUNCIATION: gp, gpINTRANSITIVE VERB:Inflected forms: gaped, gap·ing, gapes
1. To open the mouth wide; yawn. 2. To stare wonderingly or stupidly, often with the mouth open. See synonyms at gaze. 3. To open wide: The curtains gaped when the wind blew. NOUN:1. The act or an instance of gaping. 2. A large opening. 3. Zoology The width of the space between the open jaws or mandibles of a vertebrate. 4. gapes (used with a sing. verb) A disease of birds, especially young domesticated chickens and turkeys, caused by gapeworms and resulting in obstructed breathing. 5. gapes A fit of yawning. ETYMOLOGY:Middle English gapen, from Old Norse gapa




Gap, on the other hand, while pronounced differently apparently shares a common origin in the Old Norse. The definitions for gape and gap are separate indicating that at some point in time a perhaps similar root went in different directions:
gap PRONUNCIATION: gpNOUN:1a. An opening in a solid structure or surface; a cleft or breach: wriggled through a gap in the fence; a large gap in the wall where the artillery shell had exploded. b. A break in a line of defense. 2. An opening through mountains; a pass. 3. A space between objects or points; an aperture: a gap between his front teeth. 4. An interruption of continuity: a nine-minute gap in the recorded conversation; needed to fill in the gaps in her knowledge. 5a. A conspicuous difference or imbalance; a disparity: a gap between revenue and spending; the widening gap between rich and poor. b. A problematic situation resulting from such a disparity: the budget gap; the technology gap. 6. A spark gap. 7. Computer Science An absence of information on a recording medium, often used to signal the end of a segment of information. 8. Electronics The distance between the head of a recording device and the surface of the recording medium. VERB:Inflected forms: gapped, gap·ping, gaps
TRANSITIVE VERB:To make an opening in. INTRANSITIVE VERB:To be or become open. ETYMOLOGY:Middle English, from Old Norse, chasm.




Returning to a more contemporary resource, urbandictionary.com, we find at least two main definitions provided in 21 different self-refering entries. Interestingly enough, despite the apparent discrepancy between gap and gape as noted above and by others in this thread, most of the definitions relating to skiing and snowboarding in UD.com do refer to the infamous goggle/hat gap at the same time that they mention the gaping expression on the face as the main source of the term. The following are fairly typical:
I) Gaper:

A gaper is a skiier or snowboarder who is completely clueless. Usually distiungished by their bright colored clothes and a gaper gap, the gap between goggles and a helment/hat. Gapers also do the "Gaper Tuck" which is an attempt at being a ski racer by tucking, however, it is done incorrectly with the poles sticking straight up like thunderbolts and lighting, very very frightning! Gapers also sit at the bottom of jumps and try and go big off table tops in the park.
1. My eyes are burning from that gapers bright colored clothes.
2. I fell off the chair laughing at that gaper tuck.
3. Did you just see that gaper getting landed on because he was sitting like a dumbass at the landing of a jump.

II) Gaper:

A person found at ski resorts that:
1. is not from anywhere near the resort
2. Looks like an idiot on the mountain and takes gigantic turns on flat cat tracks
3. is totally oblivious to the fact that they look like an idiot and are skiing icy bumps directly under the lift when there is powder stashed all over mountain, or stashed in the trees right next to them.

Known for the "gaping" space between their hat and goggles.
Oh no! its presidents day weekend? The gapers will be out in full swing putting up yard sales.


III.) Gaper:

1) noun: One who cannot do, and is generally found as an amazed onlooker when viewing any display of actual skill. Often relating to snowsports. syn; jong, nOOb

2) adj: As pertaining to one who is a gaper.
saw some gaper come up way short on that gap, looked really painful.

I can't believe I ate it on a gaper slope like that.




We notice that some of the above-referenced definitions incorporate other terms used elsewhere in this thread such as jong and yard (or yahd) sale further adding to their credibility as truly sourced.

Finally, and most disturbingly, there is yet another current meaning for the word gaper as follows:
Gaper:

a "certain orifice" (Ed. note- somewhat altered from the original since this is a family website) that's been used and abused so often that it doesn't readily close when an object (penis, dildo, zucchini, etc.) is removed from it.
"This porn whore is a vet! she's got a gaper!"




We note that since the purpose of this thread is to provide advice and guidance to our European colleagues, and further note that since the French overwhelmingly prefer to take medications in the form of suppositories, we would politely suggest the above-referenced use of the term "Gaper" may be the cause for some confusion (:: and should therefore be avoided unless one is absolutely certain of the context.
post #85 of 86

Here, try this...

....the article "I Don't Make the Fries"...

http://www.rmmskiracing.org/articles...-10-DayJob.pdf
post #86 of 86
Wow....some actual forays into philology here on Epic. Thanks Viking Kaj et al.

"Gaper" is simply the nominal agentive form of "to gape," i.e. it requires no lexicographical ex tempore nomenclature, because the ability to coin such agentive forms has an English-language terminus post quem of approx. the 10th century (itself, a debatable date: the true origin is latinate). To try to date the origin of "gaper" is like trying to date the origin of "runner." One can't date the word, but the method of deriving the agent of the verb can be.

The question here is when "gaper" came to have its discursive meaning within Skiwelt. When did gaper come to mean a clueless, dorky, newbie skier? Many here have already posed plausible answers.

As for "gaper gap," philologists call this figura etylomogica: gapers make a gap. (Yes, the vowel quantity shifts. To understand why, study Old English or Old Norse or ask someone who has.) It's a natural consequence of the initial attribution of "gaper." If people were not already saying that gaper gap referred to the gap between hat and goggles, or between jacket and powder pants, or whatever, than they would have said the gap between the skis or something else. My own guess, and it is only a guess (likely very wrong), is that gapers stood with jaws agape, i.e. in a gap, when better skiers sped by. The attribution to other "gaper gaps" over time is naturally progressive.

So rather than etymologizing "gaper gap," it would be better to find early examples of usage of the phrase, in print or film. That would show how the expression evolved.

Anyone have some examples from print or film?
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