Hashing is a great way to stay fit, have fun, scratch your legs, make new friends, ruin your ankles, wear skin tight clothing and to get to know the countryside really well. However, hashers speak a language all of their own, which often seems like (and is) gibberish. Hashers speak a different language to normal people, and usually involves using the word ‘On’ a lot. If you consider yourself ‘normal’, here’s a guide to what hashers are saying and some attempt at interpretation:

AGM – Annual General Meeting. Sometimes used as an excuse for a booze up. It is also when the new committee is elected. With Drake H3 being a dictatorship, the old committee decide who the new committee should be. Not turning up at the AGM does not mean that you will not be appointed chief nose wiper or worse. Hash Awards are normally given out for acts above and beyond the call of duty for services to cock-ups, confusion and chaos.

Are You? – Called out to ask if someone has found the trail. The normal response is “On one, On two” etc depending on the number of piles of sawdust the hound has found. However, if you ask a front runner the silence is often deafening because they are unable to count.

Back Check – Indicated by a cross in a circle. It means that the correct trail has gone off somewhere to the left or right of the one you are on. You therefore need to turn around and go back the way you came. The correct trail can have turned off anywhere between the back check and the last check point. For hares the use of back checks is a good way of catching out the front runners and is a most satisfying way of getting your own back.


Check – A point at which the trail stops and has to be searched for. On Drake H3 runs this is indicated by a circle of sawdust/ flour with groups of hashers hanging around it breathing heavily.

Check Back – A false trail, usually indicated by an ‘X’. Front runners finding this should call out “Check Back” to let those behind them know they are on a false trail. But not surprisingly many forget to do this. Bastards.


Checking – Called out by a runner who has found the check circle and has gone to look for the trail or by a hasher standing by the circle who just can’t be arsed.


Down Down – Popular with many hashes,  a Down Down is a forfeit for some misdemeanour on the hash run. Involves drinking dry a pint/half pint all to the accompaniment of a stupid song sung by the rest of the hash. Not really a Drake thing.


False Trail – Laid in the area around a check point with the aim of slowing down the run to keep the hash together.


FOB – Fat Old Bastard. Opposite of FRB, usually found short cutting to the On Down.


FRB – Front Running Bastards, see Keenie/Git.


GM – Grand Master or Mistress. Hash supremo responsible for strategic planning and avoiding doing anything requiring action or commitment, In the case of Drake H3, GM usually stands for Gone Missing, as once someone is nominated to this post you never see them again. The incumbent is usually elderly or infirm but always good looking.


H3 – Hash House Harriers. To whoever thought of this abbreviation much thanks. Not only is it easier to write, it’s easier to say, especially after liquid refreshment.


Hare – A hasher  responsible for laying the trail and taking the blame for it.


Hare Raiser – The committee member responsible for getting club members to lay trails. Must possess the right combination of charm,  menace and cruelty.  Most vital role to ensure to ongoing existence of any hash.


Hash – Used to refer to a hash club, or the hash run. Many people think hashers have something to do with drug running, but less excitingly, the term comes from the slang expression for a cheap meal. Difficult to find in South Devon


Hash Cash – Looks after the money which you the hasher contributes every run. Obviously totally trustworthy or an ex banker.


Hasher – Someone who goes on a hash run and  is very gullible.


Hash House Harriers – A term originally coined by A S Gispert in 1937/8 for a group of friends who would go on a paper chase run together and then return to the Sengalor Club in Kuala Lumpur for a meal and a drink afterwards. The idea caught on and the Hash House Harriers are now the biggest club in the world with local chapters in virtually every country.


Hash Mag/Words – A written account of the previous week’s run., There are lies, damned lies and hash mags.  The scribe is fully expected to show no mercy and history is expected to be re-written


Hash Name –  According to tradition a hasher is given a nickname by the rest of the hash and from that moment onwards they are branded for life. Usually connected with something they have done  (or wished they had  not)  which had not been missed by other hashers. There is nowhere to hide with this.

Hound – The name for a runner who sets out to follow a hash trail. By this definition most of Drake H3 runners are SCB’s.


InterHash – An international hashing event held every two years. Attendances in excess of 5,000 are now common.

Keenie/Git – A hasher who likes to think that they’re a runner.  Hares take great delight in punishing keenies with gratuitous use of back checks, false trails and loops. No punishment is too severe.

LCB – Long Cutting Bastard. someone who gets horribly lost and comes in late.


Live Hare – hare who gets a nominal head start and is pursued by the pack as he lays the trail


Long/Short Split – A place where there are two separate trails: a long trail for stupid keenies and a short trail for sensible hashers ie those who think they’re sensible or are old and infirm.


Loops – A doubling back of the trail to allow for shortcutting.  Also useful for underlining the complete pointlessness of existence if you  are an existentialist hasher.


Nash Hash – National Hash event which in the UK is held every two years.


On Back – Called out when a false trail has been found or if the hounds are heading off in the wrong direction. Frequently heard. if you have just ploughed off downhill for a quarter mile.


On Down – The pub the hash is going to go to after the run. Must have real beer and robust toilets.


On Home – Indicated by the letters ‘OH’ laid in sawdust accompanied by an arrow. It means the finish of the run is relatively near or the hare has run out of sawdust.


On On – Shouted by hounds when they have found the correct trail or whilst they are following it. Hounds should keep shouting “On On”as it helps to keep the pack together and assists hashers who may have missed the trail to find it again.  Often mistaken for a series of strange croaking noises. However, inevitably, it doesn’t always work (which is probably why “On On” is also used as a farewell greeting amongst hashers).

“On-One” (”On-Two,” etc) - shouted by FRBs to indicate the number of marks they’ve seen on an unexplored trail, usually after a check.


Rule – universally-understood tenet of acceptable hash behaviour; never called a “rule” but often euphemized as “tradition” or “hash etiquette” Rule # 1 “There are no rules” Rule # 2 “See Rule # 1″.


SCB – Short Cutting Bastard. A statement of fact when used to refer to another hasher, but entirely incorrect and slanderous when applied to oneself.


Scribe – The hasher whose job it is to invent the hash words each week.


Shiggy – Mud, muck, slime, sludge etc. Any disgusting, smelly gunge. A prime target for hares when setting their runs.


Subs – Subscription fees. At Drake H3 these are collected weekly and go towards the costs of running the hash and to enable the committee to have expensive foreign holidays or bathroom refurbishments.


Virgin – first-time hasher; also applied to first-time hare.


Virgin Lay – a virgin hare’s first trail.


Walkers – infant, infirm, or elderly hashers.


Wherdafugarwee? –  what a hound might say when lost.


Words - Less usually known as hash mag. A libellous and inaccurate account of the previous weeks run.

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