Skip to navigation Skip to content

Mastering the Hotham lingo

Posted Thursday 28 July 2018

Hotham has a unique language - mastering it will help you fit into the local scene.

You’ve made it to Hotham and you're feeling pretty good. You hired your tyre chains, you fuelled up with Alpine diesel. You bought resort entry, you bought your lift passes, you have your accommodation sorted, you hired your ski gear, there’s beer and bubbles in the fridge and a schnitzel waiting for you later.

You’re feeling like you really belong here, you’re starting to settle in. But there’s a nagging feeling - have you covered everything?

No, because one of the most important aspects of your visit to Hotham is being able to understand and speak the language. Some of it is common to all snowsport areas, some of it is specific to Hotham, and all of it will make you sound like a local. Maybe.

We understand. It’s hard to get around this lingo, and we’re here to help.

So here is your insider’s guide to Hotham's unique language, compiled with the help of Hotham locals so that you don’t sound like a jerry. Good luck!



Shred / shredder

Skiers or boarders

Gnar / Shred the gnar

Skiing or snowboarding the snow

Pow / powpow

Powder snow - the ultimate light, dry snow

Slay the pow

Get out there and get into the powder


Radical! Great, fantastic


The great feeling you get riding Hotham


Affectionate name for Hotham, based on ‘Froffing’ or ‘Frothing’


Utterance meaning you’re ‘froffin’ and having a great time

Planet Hotham / Planet Hoth

Affectionate local name for Hotham and a reference to the frozen Planet Hoth in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’

Weekend warriors

Regulars who come up on the weekend to ride Hotham


Non-locals, holidays-makers

Punter’s gap

Exposed gap of forehead between helmet and goggles


Someone who has no idea what’s going on; a bit of a dag; newbie


Face-plant fall

Yard sale

Skier who falls and loses their skis and poles


Face plant on a snowboard that results in the board coming over your back and smacking you in the head

Penguin slide

A fall resulting in you sliding downhill head first on your tummy

Rock star run / Hollywood line

Any run that goes under a chairlift so your performance is in full view of everyone on the chairlift (the audience)

Kicker or booter

A jump in a terrain park

Park rats

Kids who hang around the terrain or rail parks


Park rats who love doing tricks and jumps

Snow bunny

Disputed – either an attractive female skier/boarder, or an attractive poser who wears expensive gear but can’t ride

Hotham dollar

$100 note

Chop picnic

Riding the slush with your friends

Doing a couple of burners

Straight-lining the Imagine ski run until the ski patrol tell you off

Send it

Ride hard / ride big / commit

Drop in

Enter a run from the top


Riding freshly-fallen snow


Going out for the first lift and riding untouched groomed runs


Chairlift operators and all-round great folks


Orchard ski area


Heavenly Valley ski area


A crash in the rail park when you slip off a rail, resulting in you landing on the rail and folding in half like a taco. Only funny when it happens to someone else

Village loop

Doing a run from the top of the Basin in the Village, down Gully Cat Walk, Slalom Gully and the Swindlers Trail down to the base of the Audi Quattro Chair and coming back up on the chair to do it again

A cheeky McCollsy

Activity of a parent who drops their children at the Big D for lessons then crosses the road and drops in to the McColls run for their own riding time


Cross-country skier


Guest Services staff out and about in their bright green jackets 

Sunny Queensland

Blue Ribbon ski area on a white-out day

Thanks to Kevin Raymond, Steph Houlahan, Colde Abbott, Damian Yates, Sean Mueglitz, Haydn Richards, Nicole Hayes, Chad Taylor, Cameron Bertuch, Kristen Daisy, Alex Steino, Betty Mihalakos, Eddy Hotham, Peta Leeane Brewskis, Lisa Hemingway and Rob Broersen for their help with this article.

Photo by Patrick from Merrimack, NH, United States, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

For more great stories about what's happening around Hotham, sign up to the weekly Hotham Herald here.


Backcountry Festival

Celebrate all things backcountry during this 2-day event

Learn More


Backcountry gear

All your backcountry gear hire needs at OneTree Sports

Learn More


Best price

Grab yours online and early to get the lowest price

Learn More