What does zebra mean?

A game official

Zebra is a nickname given to an official of a sporting event, typically a football or hockey game. The name comes from the similarity between the official's black and white striped uniform and the stripes on a zebra.

The term is typically meant to be derogative, comparing the IQ of an official to the IQ of a zebra. It is commonly used when complaining about an official that missed a call or made a bad call. It is most often used in college or professional football or hockey. However, fans may refer to officials in any sport as zebras.

In football, there are usually seven officials on the field during a game. The different positions are referee, umpire, down judge, line judge, field judge, side judge, or back judge. In hockey, there are usually four officials, which include two referees and two linesmen.


How was that not a catch?!?
These zebras are blind out here!
Some zebras at a football game
Some zebras at a football game

Related Slang


Updated November 6, 2017

Zebra definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Zebra" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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