How You Say It

Being gradually exposed to the wider network of derby folks across the globe has been both interesting and educational. Derby Deeds’ most recent World Cup podcast did a really nice job of showing the variety of situations that derby leagues have to work with–Team USA has a pretty fantastic network of support for things like travel and fundraising, while skaters with Team Brazil have difficulty even getting basic derby gear shipped to them.

I’ve also learned that, much like regular languages, different derby leagues have their own dialects of slang. One of our more, ahem, suggestive-looking stretches has a different name in different parts of the U.S.–’round these parts, we call it the Miss January–and that what we call a “sternum buster” is referred to as a “can opener” in other regions.

With that in mind, I thought, hey, it might be neat to do a map (or infographic) of derby terminology or slang! But, before I can build a survey to start building a data set, I ask you: What terms and phrases do you think I should ask about?

Miss January and Sternum Busters will definitely be included. Standardized game terms like Blocker, Jammer, and Pivot will NOT. But, techniques, stretches, and the like? Hit me with your ideas.


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