puck (n.)

"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]


name of the mischievous fairy in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," in 16c. the name of a fairy of high repute (his disguised name was Robin Goodfellow or Friar Rush), also generally, "an elf, fairy, or sprite;" probably from Middle English pouke "devil, evil spirit" (c. 1300; early 13c. in place-names), from Old English puca, pucel "goblin," which is cognate with Old Norse puki "devil, fiend," a word of unknown origin (compare pug). Celtic origins also have been proposed.

updated on January 24, 2021