We Call Them Breezers

by barbaragarn

This has been a head-scratcher since I started playing hockey. Why do Minnesotans call “hockey pants” by the jauntier name of “breezers”?

Apparently it’s not just Minnesotans–the linguistic region includes Wisconsin and parts of Michigan. People on the East Coast and in other hockey areas almost belligerently refer to them as HOCKEY PANTS, and don’t you forget it.

I’ve only been able to come up with two plausible explanations for this anomaly in hockey nomenclature:

1. An early hockey gear manufacturer, now lost to us, made hockey pants and called them “Breezers.” (Like “Cooperalls,” another protective piece that uses the manufacturer in its name.) This manufacturer of hockey garb was centered in Minnesota and sold gear to the surrounding region, but no further east. Hence, the piece became known as “breezers.”

2. If you’ve ever forgotten your jock or jill and had to go commando under the breezers, you’ll realize reeeal quick that they are, indeed, breezy.

Anybody have any other theories?

Discussing how this linguistic shift came about is intriguing, but I’m more interested in getting the rest of the world to start using our term. It’s WAY better than saying “hockey pants.” And, from an efficiency standpoint: shorter. Plus, it just sounds cool.

Forget people in other places with their stuffy “hockey pants.” This is the State of Hockey and you bet we know darn well what the gear is called. So I’m instigating an Internet “Breezer Blitz.” Go on hockey websites, talk about “breezers.” Ignore the denigration of stolid “hockey pantsers” and evangelize the world!

Breezers unite!