Ski lingo lessons after research shows Brits too puzzled by ski slang | UK | News

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Ski lingo lessons after research shows Brits too puzzled by ski slang | UK | News

Fear of being left red-faced rather than flat on their face is stopping novice skiers from hitting the slopes, with a third simply too puzzled by ski slang.

New research by Crystal Ski holidays found that while 81% of Brits dream of taking to the snow-covered mountains, 31% confessed they are too confused by the lingo.

While less than half (46%) are familiar with the term ‘piste’ – others instead associated it with going out on the lash – and only 5% understood that ‘fresh dump’ referred to a huge fall of fresh snow.

In a bid to end the confusion Crystal has enlisted the help of Countdown’s language expert Susie Dent to demystify the terms and boost the confidence of beginners.

Of the 2,000 adults polled on behalf of Crystal, the UK largest ski tour operator, just 2% knew that ‘lifty’ is the nickname for the person who operates the ski lift that takes people up and down the mountains.

The term ‘french fries’ to describe the stance taking while parallel skiing – with your skis straight and side by side like skinny chips – was understood by 6% and 17% knew that that salopettes are padded trousers with straps that go over the shoulders.

And it isn’t just the language used on the slopes that people find baffling, only 26% knew what the traditional melted cheese dish of fondue was and 41% realised that ‘après-ski’ is the time spent relaxing in a bar or spa after a day’s skiing or snowboarding.

With almost two thirds (62%) of people agreeing they’d love to try something different for their next holiday, with great weather (68%), beautiful scenery (58) and good food (47%) high on the priority list, Crystal wants to make skiing accessible for all.

Over half (52%) admitted they perceived a skiing holiday as being beyond their budget, but Crystal offers deposits from £100 and other money saving deals.

Susie Dent said: “Language is a big part of how we understand the world, so if you’re not quite in the know about something, it’s easy to feel deterred. Crystal Ski Holidays’ research shows that a great majority of us would be worried about choosing a skiing holiday because we assume we don’t belong and language is a big part of that. It’s important to remember that most hobbies and professions have a language of their own and once you dive in, you start to appreciate its colour and history.

“Hopefully, the A-B-Ski guide gives people confidence to take that first step when it comes to giving skiing a go ».

Delving into the etymology – the origin and history of words – Susie comments: “Skiing has borrowed words from multiple different languages and cultures. Take ‘ski itself, which is a Norwegian word related to a Viking word skið, meaning a long snowshoe. The word toboggan’, meanwhile, is rooted in the Algonquian language of the Mi’kmaq people of Canada, which now has fewer than 8,000 speakers. French features more so, from the piste (a ski-slope but literally a ‘racetrack’) to the famous après-ski or ‘after-skiing’, a.k.a. the entertainment that follows a day on the mountain.”

Chris Logan from Crystal Ski Holidays comments: “Booking your first ski trip should be exciting, but for those who need a little confidence boost, we want to ensure taking those first steps is as easy as ABC. If you’re new to the slopes, you might not be familiar with all the lingo, but there’s no need to be intimidated by it, it’s never too late to learn. At Crystal , it’s important to us that skiing feels accessible to more people, you don’t need to be a seasoned skier to enjoy it and our research shows that people are wanting to give it a go!”

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