ball game played with a curved stick or club, 1527, implied in a document from Ireland ("The horlinge of the litill balle with hockie stickes or staves ..."), of unknown origin. Perhaps related to French hoquet "shepherd's staff, crook," diminutive of Old French hoc "hook." The hooked clubs with which the game is played resemble shepherds' staves. In North America, ice hockey is distinguished from field hockey, but hockey alone can mean either. Also known as shinny or shinty.
1570s, "an act of assistance," from assist (v.). In the sporting sense attested 1877 in baseball, 1925 in ice hockey.
1960, ice hockey slang for a quick feinting move meant to induce an opponent out of position, short for decoy. The verb is attested from 1961. Related: Deked.
"ice hockey disk," by 1891, of uncertain origin, possibly from puck (v.) "to hit, strike" (1861), which perhaps is related to poke (v.) via notion of "push." Another suggestion traces the noun to Irish poc "bag."
The bone of contention between the contending sides is called the puck, and is a circular piece of vulcanized rubber one inch thick all through and three inches in diameter. ["The Game of Rink Hockey," in Harper's Young People, Feb. 3, 1891]
Irish ball game, precursor of field hockey, 1690s, played with a curved stick, also called a bandy (1620s), from bandy (v.) "throw to and fro, strike back and forth."
verbal noun of hurl (q.v.); attested 1520s as a form of hockey played in Ireland; c. 1600 as the name of a game like hand-ball that once was popular in Cornwall.