Where's the bunnies?
August 31, 2006 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Why is the easiest slope at a ski resort called a "bunny hill"?

Specifically, what is the origin of the phrase? Can't seem to figure this one out....
posted by Sloben to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total)
My guess is that it has something to do with 'ski bunnies'. As in, this is where all of the gold digging ski bunnies play at skiing to take part in the ski resort lifestyle... just my guess!
posted by GleepGlop at 1:33 PM on August 31, 2006

I'm going to guess it comes from the slightly pejorative term for skiing women: "ski bunnies". I would assume it could get carried over from that term because men that go around calling women that would think they "couldn't handle" anything other than the beginner slope.
posted by mathowie at 1:34 PM on August 31, 2006

I know my family refers to anyone who isn't good at a particular sport (or the #11 batsman in a cricket match) as a "bunny". I always assumed it just means someone who's kind of incompetant.
posted by gaspode at 1:34 PM on August 31, 2006

I always thought it was because of the mini wee hill a rabbit burrough usually created - no?
posted by Chorus at 1:35 PM on August 31, 2006

I dunno the etymologgy of the term 'bunny slope'. what I *do* know is that more recent common parlance for these individuals is 'sporks', which happens to also be an acronym for Spaz On Rental Kit.

or a semi-useless and dorky looking utensil, your choice.
posted by lonefrontranger at 1:44 PM on August 31, 2006

I also always assumed that it was so named for the itsy hill created by digging bunnies.
posted by desuetude at 1:44 PM on August 31, 2006

Originally X-country skiers were called rabbits because of the resemblence of the ski's to a rabbits very long rear foot. This carried over into downhill skiing and anyone who wasn't quite a 'rabbit' yet was a 'bunny'.
posted by Cosine at 1:56 PM on August 31, 2006

man, i always called skiing girls snow bunnies, not ski bunnies.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 2:29 PM on August 31, 2006

I doubt it has anything to do with "ski bunnies," in the sense of skiing nubiles. The resemblance to a bunny burrow seems plausible to me. I suppose it's also possible that children with skis on look like little bunnies with big floppy feet, and so the hill appropriate to their use might be called the bunny hill.

Actually, I think they were named after the esteemed British comedian.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 6:01 PM on August 31, 2006

I always thought it had more to do with it being a place where kids learn to ski than ski bunnies, but I have no basis for that apart from that's what I thought of when I first heard it 25+ years ago when I started skiing.
posted by Opposite George at 9:21 PM on August 31, 2006

I'd bet cash money on it being related to nubile young thangs. Where better to pick up new chicks than on the beginner slope? There's one, fur-lined ensemble and elaborate 'do, rhinestone sunglasses, giggling and fluffy and looking for a good time! See how she struggles with the pony-ball? Here, show her how she has to, no, keep the cables tight 'round the boot!, straddle the poney, stiff legs stiff arms, go!, "ride" the pony up the hill! You follow on, offer to teach this li'l bunny a thing or two about the alpine sport of skiing. There is laughter, there is fright, there are tumbles... the bunny tires of skiing but the evening is but young and come dine with me. The sport of kings!

Gotta be bunny slopes = where the bunnies are skiing. It's too poetic to not be.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:24 PM on August 31, 2006

Er, I was trying to describe a Flapper-age scene, back when it was the sport the wealthy elite. Not sure I carried that off at all well.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:26 PM on August 31, 2006


FWIW (and I apologize in advance if this is too much of a nitpick/derail -- please flag this to be killed if it is,) the very few flapper-era North American skiiers would have been earning their turns, that is, getting to the top of the hill under muscle power. Skiing was more of a diehard pursuit then, closer to mountaineering and hiking than what we think of today.

Downhill skiing didn't really take off on this side of the pond until after the very popular 1932 Lake Placid Olympics. The first rope tow on the continent was installed in 1932 in Quebec. The U.S. had to wait until 1934. It was really the continuing development of lifts along with the concept of destination winter resorts (Sun Valley was the first in the U.S., opening in 1936) that moved skiing from the realm of adventure sport to glamour sport.
posted by Opposite George at 10:40 PM on August 31, 2006

My alternate theory is that bunny comes from the snow-white cotton tail you sport after sliding about on your posterior.
posted by Manjusri at 11:16 PM on August 31, 2006

ummm... no, as I stated above it comes from cross-country skiers being known as jackrabbits, google jack rabbit and skiing.
posted by Cosine at 8:56 AM on September 1, 2006

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