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This page is about the eponym Zamboni

Meaning: an electric-powered machine with a driver that resurfaces ice on an ice-rink by shaving it, clearing it and flooding it

For example:

  • All of the kids crowded around the ice to watch the Zamboni.

  • In between hockey periods, the Zamboni comes out to clear the ice.

Zamboni is a trademark, but is used to describe any ice resurfacing machine that a person drives.

Origin: Frank Zamboni (1901-1988) was an American inventor who worked in the block ice business before electric refrigeration units became popular. He and his brother decided to open an ice rink. He invented a way to prevent the pipes under the rink from causing rippling in the ice. He then spent nine years working on a machine that would resurface the ice quickly. He applied for a patent and began selling the machines.

Quick Quiz:

When would a Zamboni NOT come onto an ice-hockey rink?

a. during a hockey period

b. before a hockey game

c. between hockey periods

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Contributor: Tara Benwell