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What Is a Toboggan: Hat or Sled?

Updated on November 21, 2016

The Debate Began

Several years ago, we had some friends who were Yankees (and they were pretty darn proud of that fact). He was from northern Maine and she was from New Hampshire. You really don't get much more Yankee than that. This was their first winter in Texas.

On a particularly cold day, I mentioned that their son needed a toboggan. I got the strangest look from them. SInce we had no snow on the ground they thought I had lost my mind. They asked me why he needed a toboggan. I told them "to keep his head warm, of course". They roared with laughter. That was the first time I realized that everyone in the world didn't call a knit cap a toboggan. To them, a toboggan was a wooden sled. No wonder they wanted to know why I thought their son needed one! And, no wonder they found it so funny that I thought by him having one it would in any way keep his head warm.

They honestly thought I had lost my mind. Here I was, nearly 40 years old, and I had been calling knit caps toboggans all my life. Of course, they were the same age and had always known sleds as toboggan's all their lives.

It's not that I didn't know a certain type of sled could be called a toboggan, we just don't have them in Texas. They, on the other hand, couldn't fathom a hat being called a toboggan.

Source
The Southern's version of a toboggan
The Southern's version of a toboggan

The Research Began

Well, that began the research and the mission for us all. They were determined to prove me wrong and I was determined to prove to them that at least one dictionary in the world acknowledges that it can be hat as well.

I did eventually find a dictionary that had toboggan has a hat, but it was a large two volume set and I wasn't going to pay that much money to prove a point. However, you're beginning to see more and more dictionaries (printed and online) include toboggan as a type of winter cap or hat. Wikipedia also acknowledges it as a type of hat.

It really became a quite a topic of contention between us. So much so, that I finally named my dog "Toby" as a jab at them. That's Toby, short for toboggan.

Both parties would quiz people we met on the street hoping to determine the regions of the United States that saw it on either side.

From the research I've done, it appears that there is a Southern region of the United States that use Southern American English and they use the term toboggan as a hat. A map of that region can be found on Wikipedia.

So, how about we put on our toboggans, pull out our wooden toboggans and take Toby for a ride?

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      Rebecca from Florida 2 days ago

      My boyfriend has been making fun of me about me believing my knit hat wasn't a toboggan. I lived in New Hampshire for 7 years so I thought I knew what I was talking about. Thankyou for this!!! Now I can prove him wrong!!!

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      Cole from Ohio 6 weeks ago

      I'm from southeastern ohio. Everyone always called it a toboggan. Made friends from Cleveland in college and they had never heard a hat being called that.

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      Okie Z 6 weeks ago

      Born in '81, from Oklahoma. My mother taught it to me as toboggan. I've received funny glances for it, but not from this state, lol. Maybe in OKC. I can understand why people might laugh at it, but I personally laugh at it when people call it a beanie. Learn what a beanie really is, while you're on this path as well.

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 3 months ago from Central Texas

      Really appreciate all of the comments from around the state of people having similar discussions. Thank you!

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      T Sholette 3 months ago

      My wife and I had this same conversation when we first started dating in 1980. I'm from upstate NY and she's from Ok. My sister's and I had a good laugh.

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      Lauren 5 months ago

      I am from Cullman, Alabama and there are a few word usages on which my husband and I disagree. Toboggan is one of the main culprits. I have about 20 toboggans in my closet. He thinks I have too many knitted caps. I'll say I'm fixin' to do something and he rolls his eyes. I have been known to tump my 4x4 over. Hubby insists that tump is not a word as he's pulling the 4x4 out with his truck. I've been known to get ill with someone and I'm angry, not sick.

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      GE Hoostal 5 months ago

      I’m about the same as Ohio Lifer. From NE OH, edge of Appalachian foothills: they’re S, SW, & SE outside my hometown; but go NW & W & it’s much flatter. I think the dialect likewise has an unusual convergence. Now in NE IN though.

      It seems from the comments that at least from Columbus S (& maybe E & SE), ‘toboggan’ means ‘hat’. Not really in Columbus itself, & but otherwise, that area has a somewhat Southern dialect & accent, with drawl, similar to KY & WV.

      Couple hrs’ drive farther NE, where I’m from, it’s…

      ‘Toboggan’ being only the wooden sled depicted. The hat is just ‘a hat’ or ‘a warm hat’—thinking of my mom calling out, ‘Put on a warm hat before you go outside!’—although other types count too; mothers don’t care much except that a hat is warm & covers the ears all the way!

      Shopping ‘cart’. My husband’s family (from OH close to PA) says ‘buggy’. Regional usage seems to have originated with mine-carts.

      The drink is ‘pop’, but I prefer ‘soda’ since that seems more logical to me. ‘Coke’ to mean that seems highly illogical: What if you want the literal Coke flavor? Q: Do you want a Coke? A: Yes. Q: What kind? A: Coke. (Huh? Or is it, ‘I SAID, “Coke”!’?) What if you don’t like that flavor (I don’t) & want anything but it, but you’re still asking for it? It’s kind of giving me a headache. Ohio Lifer is right about this. If you ask for a Kleenex or a tissue, what you get is essentially one thing. The brand doesn’t matter particularly. Likewise with a soda. The brand’s a lot less important than the flavor. Reminds me of people who always refer to vehicles by their model-names. That’s weird to me. I call them just ‘car’ & ‘truck’, except to distinguish between cars or trucks, & then I’d think of color before model-name.

      There’s a ‘hero’ shop in my hometown, but eventually a Subway was built also, & at least now I think ‘sub’ is common. Like ‘hat’ & ‘car’, we say just ‘sandwich’.

      ‘Dinner’ is in the evening, also for Columbus grandparents, although for my in-laws & hometown grandparents: ‘supper’. I think for in-laws ‘dinner’ is at noon & hometown grandparents ‘lunch’ is at noon.

      My mother-in-law says ‘sweeper’. I think of a broom though, or the person using it, or maybe street-sweeper. ‘Vacuum’ always.

      More regionalisms: ‘crayfish’ (most etymologically authentic, from ME crevise); housing ‘development’ (here in IN, it’s an ‘addition’); ‘frosting’ is creamy &, like frost, opaque; ‘icing’ is thin &, like ice, translucent; a long cream-filled doughnut is a ‘creamstick’; ‘tree-lawn’; ‘wood-louse’; ‘trash-can’ (not ‘garbage-can’: garbage is food-waste, hence garbage-disposal’…looking at the Wikipedia list now…); I THINK my mom calls an indoor faucet a ‘faucet’ but an outdoor one a ‘spigot’—not sure—but she’s from the Columbus area, & like ‘hat’ & ‘car’ & ‘sandwich’ (developing theme) I say just ‘the water’, e.g. ‘hook this hose up to the water’, or ‘faucet’ if I have to; ‘frying-pan’ or more likely just ‘pan’ (mother-in-law says ‘skillet’); ‘gutter’; ‘pit’ (as in ‘peach’ I guess); ‘firefly’, but ‘lightning bug’ is normal too; ‘bucket’, but ‘pail’ is normal too; rubber-soled shoes worn in gym class, for athletic activities, etc. are, like ‘hat’ & ‘car’ & ‘sandwich’ & ‘water’, just ‘shoes’ (if I want to be more specific, then the sport they’re for, like ‘running shoes’ & ‘tennis shoes’ are 2 different kinds, except for rugby & soccer, just ‘cleats’); drinking ‘fountain’—Hey, Wikipedia concurs on my division of OH for ‘toboggan’!—‘roundabout’; ‘drive-through’ liquor store; ‘milkshake’; my dad says ‘catty-corner’ (properly ‘cater-cornered’), but I say ‘diagonally across’ the st. or whatever; & ‘stoop’, being a little porch, but ‘porch’ is more usual.

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      Catherine Gardner 5 months ago

      Thank you for your explanation of a knit hat being called a toboggan. I live in the U.k. Have never heard of such a thing. I'm reading a book and trying to imagine a hat in the shape of a sled

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      Krista from Maine 7 months ago

      I came to your site because a friend of mine (from Texas) and I were shopping a couple of weeks ago and he said he was looking for a toboggan. I looked at him like he had two heads because of course, we are in Texas, it's March and there is no earthly place to use it except as decoration. He explained to me that a toboggan was a hat - wool in type. I thought me meant beret...but it turns out he was talking about a knit hat/cap or a ski hat. I thought it was funny that I'd never heard of that use. I was interested to find out the origin of that word for those who use it.

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      Eric 7 months ago

      This article doesn't really explain anything except a fun anecdote

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      Phil G. 8 months ago

      My wife is from Canada and the first time I said this, she laughed to no end.

      It wasn't until we were going through a check out line that a cashier spoke up about toboggans being a hat since we were discussing it at the time.

      I was just glad to know I was NOT the only one and now seeing it online... at least I know some of us aren't just crazy ;-)

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      Cynthia Chandler 8 months ago

      I have spent my entire life calling the winter hats toboggans also. My family is from upstate New York & they've always called them toboggans. So, you aren't alone. You're part of a large group now. LMAO

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      Connie Kukielka 9 months ago

      I am from Southern Ohio and I call a knit cap a toboggan. My husband is from New Jersey and calls a curved sled a toboggan.

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      Joe1909 9 months ago

      Called a ski cap not a toboggan

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      Christian Hawke 10 months ago

      A toboggan is a type of sled; a boggin is a type of hat. Although I have no proof of this, I believe that southerners adopted "toboggan" for their knit caps because "boggin" and "tobaggan" are so similar.

      Anyone?

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      Justin Wildesen 10 months ago

      I feel your pain. I have called it a toboggan my whole life and I have been picked on about it from everyone I know. My grandmother told me it got its name because when you went out to sled on your toboggan you needed your toboggan hat.

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      Alicia 10 months ago

      Thank you...you post saved me when this discussion can up with my husband...yah baby ..let's hear it for TX.

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      Suellen Garrison 10 months ago

      Born and raised in Ohio and in the winter we always wore a toboggan HAT and would ride down a hill on a toboggan SLED. I'm 72 and am so surprised so many never heard of a Hat and Sled both being called toboggans.

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      Pete 10 months ago

      In the Navy it is called a Watch Cap.

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      Bryan 10 months ago

      Born and raised in Ohio. Never ever heard a knot cap/winter hat referred to a as a "toboggan". This is a type of wooden sled to be sure. Not sure where others here from Ohio or Indiana ever heard toboggan as a hat? Maybe they are in a very rural area or have family from the south that called it that? Not sure. Toboggan goes down a hill, a knit hat/cap goes on your head;)

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      Bridgette Cash 10 months ago

      Well I'm from deep south Texas and my husband is from NORTH CAROLINA and we dicited to move to NC after having kids winter came along and I started hearing everyone say the word toboggin. Lol that was the funniest word I had ever heard deep south Texas where it never even snows I had never heard that word in my life!!! So I asked my husbands grandmother what is that????? She told me it was a warm winter hat. I'm like what???? As said iI'm from "deep" south Texas I call that a BEENIE!!! LOL and people from over their don't know what a beenie is lol. So their you go. I call it a Bernie you call it a toboggin.

      Thank you.

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      Linda 10 months ago

      In Georgia, we call them boggans. We never had a toboggan, because we never had snow. (well, rarely) But we knew what a toboggan was and I never thought boggan was short for toboggan. My family and I have argued about these things for years, but we enjoy it. We also call a car trunk a cooterhull and a glove compartment is the "pocket." In south Georgia, we have a lot of words and expressions not heard anywhere else! Like"streak-ed." Others call it "striped." Also, drop cord and fly flap and piedy and nary and nurn.

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      Donna 10 months ago

      Love this! I just left the Litchfield, Illinois Micky D's where they were selling Tobaggans. I told the older fellow taking my order that I would love one of those Cardinal/Blues Tobaggans. He was like which item is a Tobaggan? (They had socks too). My husband laughed and said wearing a sled on your head is a Carolina thing. I am used to his ribbing and will not stop calling knit hats Tobaggans. It provides much comic relief when I am around non southerners. Besides call it a knit cap sounds too formal and a bit rhetorical. Yes, it is a knit cap, but is it a Tobaggan??

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      Dan 18 months ago

      you wear a topnoggan, and ride a tobaggan

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      Chris 18 months ago

      Priceless! In Canada it's toboggan vs sled and toque vs wool hat/beanie etc. Been living in Texas for three years and trying to learn the language!

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 20 months ago from Central Texas

      I agree, JackieR! Nice to know there are many of us who know it as both and are ok with others knowing it only as a sled. :)

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      JackieR 20 months ago

      I have lived in Oklahoma my whole life and always called them toboggans. I have a friend from Michigan who argued with me recently about it being a sled and I thought maybe I was crazy! Glad to know I am not! My thought is to each their own! You don't need to prove anyone wrong, or yourself right. But I do always call it a toboggan everytime I am around her just to irate her!

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      kataline 22 months ago

      thanks for this wonderful explanation

      loved it

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 23 months ago from Central Texas

      Glad I could help! LOL

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      Romy 23 months ago

      So glad I found this. I saw a site for making quilts out of your own clothing. However the woman said not to send silk, swimwear, underwear, or toboggans. I thought; "How could she add parts of a sled to a quilt? Maybe this is a typo! Maybe she breaks off small pieces of the sled! Could this woman be a little crazy? Maybe this is a joke!" When I found your blog, I said "OHHHHHH". It's a knit cap. Now I can go back to sleep. Crazy things bother a person at 4am.

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      Amanda 2 years ago

      So funny my mom was from KY and dad from Mississippi and i grew up in Wisconsin...all my friends said beanie...but my family said Toboggan. ..so i was very confused haha..

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      Sue 2 years ago

      In Minnesota they call a casserole a hot dish.

      In North Carolina a hot dish is a gal who is doing something she shouldn't be doing!!!!!

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      Kristi 2 years ago

      Your article was a great source of laughter in my office today. I am a "Northerner" from Florida that just recently moved "South" to Alabama. I had never heard the term toboggan used to describe a knitted cap; we always called them beanies. One of the guys I worked with asked if we had any more toboggans and I had absolutely NO idea what he was talking about. We got into a pretty healthy debate about the meaning of the word and that is how I found your article. Thanks for the clarification! :)

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 2 years ago from Central Texas

      Preston, I'm glad you found my article. Toboggan-wearers unite! LOL. You can print this and show them you are definitely not alone.

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      Preston 2 years ago

      I can't believe that this article is over 6 years old. I was raised in Texas saying toboggan meaning a hat, but my wife always kids me about it...so much so, that I finally caved in and conceded that I must be wrong. Wow, I can't wait to print this article and show her!

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 2 years ago from Central Texas

      I'm with you Chris! Glad you found you're not alone!

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      Chris 2 years ago

      I'm from Berlin, MD but born in SC, dad from Texas, mom born in Berlin, which is on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. All I ever knew to call a winter hat was "toboggan", I didn't even know it was also a sled till I was in my late 20's. I still call a hat a toboggan and always will!! I have co-workers making fun of me all the time, however I'm old school to a fault sometimes and will carry on southern tradition of all things unique about our cultural upbringing. I live in Annapolis, MD now. You can take the boy out of the south, but you can't take the south out of the boy!!!

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      Greg Smith 2 years ago

      I'm from southern Ohio and I've never known knitted caps by anything other than a toboggan. My parents were born and raised in Kentucky and West Virginia, so that's probably were I learned it from. My wife to be is from Cleveland and laughs at me every time I speak it. ;)

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      Tami 2 years ago

      We call them toboggans here in Kentucky too. That's a funny story! I grew up in Ohio and never heard winter caps called a toboggan there.

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 2 years ago from Central Texas

      You are in good company Tammye. You are not a loony! :) Long live toboggans!

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      Tammye 2 years ago

      Thank you so much for the article. I live in Kansas City however, am a Texas native and when I called a hat a toboggan my husband laughed at me. Here in the Midwest they call em beanies. I will forever call it a toboggan. ...I am still a southern girl and want to be remembered as such some day. I was having this argument with my best friend tho whose definitely a Yankee...he's from New Jersey and now I can prove I'm not loony lol.

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 3 years ago from Central Texas

      We are pretty much in the same boat here in central Texas. :)

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I assume it has to do with how infrequently we have wear them in this sub-tropical climate, and besides, some people think we talk funny down here anyway. :o

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 3 years ago from Central Texas

      Hey Randy! LOL.......well......ok.......interesting! I don't think anyone has mentioned that shortened version.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Not down here in south Georgia, KCC! We leave off the 'ta' and simply refer to them as "boggins". :)

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 3 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you for all the comments! I love that there are Southerners all over that still know them as toboggans! :)

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      mnoble 3 years ago

      I'm Southern born and Southern bred... moved to Iowa... they laughed so hard at me needing to WEAR a toboggan in winter... thanks for proving I was correct! ...and when I die I'll be Southern dead...y'all !!!

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      crickett 3 years ago

      As a Floridian..we always called them toboggans. My Ca. friends calls them Beanies. Thanks for the article.

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      Tina 3 years ago

      I'm so glad that I had your article to show my boyfriend. The weather just turned cold and icy. I made the comment that he needed to put on a toboggan. He thought I was severely confused. We had this fun debate "while on the way to take him to the doctor to rule out pneumonia" and I was relieved to know that I'm not the only one to use the term for the winter cap he needed to be using.

      The ironic thing is that we are both native Texans and he had never heard the term used in that context and thought only of it as a sled. Wow! Go figure that one out. I'm still scratching my head over it.

      P.S. I love the fact that you named your dog Toby. Something I so would've done too. :-)

      Thanks again for your article.

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      Diane Gollinger 3 years ago

      While according to this both North and South are correct. Hoever, ponder this Have you ever seen a Hat race at the Olympics???

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      William 3 years ago

      I'm 23 from Southern Canada and I have always called my winter hat a toboggan. I have never been to the southern United States but my mother said that I have always referred to my hat as a toboggan and she's always known it to be a toboggan also. so I must have pick up the terminology from her. my girlfriend jus recently heard me call it that and she couldn't help but laugh. lol it was funny though, I found it amusing that she had never heard that term. thanks for the post and thread, I love it

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      superich 3 years ago

      It's really funny... I work in a Maximum Federal Penn down in Southern Virginia. The bulk of our inmates are from the bigger cities in the North. It is our policy that the inmates must remove their headgear when they enter the dining facility. It's funny to see the Southern Correctional Staff to tell the inmates to remove their toboggan. The inmates look at them like they are nuts... I am originally from the North and have never heard of a toboggan hat. It's a sled where I come from. I try to explaining that to he Southern Coorectional Staff here and of course they think I'm an idiot. What can you say. These guys have been brought up that way. What are you gonna do. Tell them that everything they learned from their family over the years is wrong. Go way to get your butt kicked down here. But it's really funny when you see the looks that they get from these Northern Inmates when they tell them to take a sled off their heads.... LOL.

    • ElliCee profile image

      ElliCee 4 years ago

      Posted this on FB last winter...

      I walked into a market deep in the WV mountains and the gal behind the counter says - "Hey Honey, I love that tBAWLgeen." Thinking she means the Ravens "ballgame" (I had on my gear) I responded about the score. She stared at me as if I were as dumb as a box of rocks. "Doll, I said I love your T-BAWL-GIN"! Ah, I looked over my shoulder - she must mean my rental car = form of transportation (more or less) = toboggan.

      Long, awkward silence.

      "Your hat Sweetie." Go figure.

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 4 years ago from Central Texas

      That's the way it appears Andy. Just look at all the comments.

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      Andy 4 years ago

      Everyone in Louisville growing up called snow hats toboggans. Since then I have lived in Nashville, Cincinnati, and Chicago among others and no one refers to them as toboggans and look at me like I'm crazy when I say it. If it is a southern thing it must be only in certain regions, because no one in Nashville had heard of it.

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 4 years ago from Central Texas

      I think that's the best part.....the reactions from those who have never called a hat a toboggan. :) Now you know you're not alone!

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      Derek 4 years ago

      Im from southern ohio and i call the hat a toboggan. It was hilarious to see my friends reactions who lived only 40 miles north of me when i mentioned this during a winter day, they of course, have never heard of that usage of the word.

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      Millie Lee 4 years ago

      *boggans* NOT boggnas. :)

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      Millie Lee 4 years ago

      I grew up in Kentucky and we always called them boggnas.

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 4 years ago from Central Texas

      LOL, glad to know I could help, Dentonj24. You can tell you are not alone on this issue. We should start a support group. LOL :)

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      dentonj24 4 years ago

      Two months ago I moved from GA to MA, and I had the SAME situation happen when coworkers and I were headed out for a ski trip a couple of weeks ago. "Oh, shoot! I forgot my toboggan!" They couldn't believe I owned a toboggan. I didn't understand why that would be so crazy. THEN we got to the bottom of things. You just saved me a ton of research and I have sent this link to my new MA friends. :)

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 4 years ago from Central Texas

      LOL.......thanks Scrabblemom.........looks like a warm blue one, huh?

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      scrabblemom 4 years ago

      So glad that the correct photo of a toboggan is now being shown !

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 4 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you Daryl.....I stand corrected. I have replaced the photo with the correct version as you described.

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      Daryl 4 years ago

      the picture of the sled at the top is incorrect - a toboggan is a long runnerless wooden sled, curled up at the front.

      Also words such as centre, metre, litre and cheque are of British origin NOT French - toque and poutine were correctly refereneced as French origin.

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      Ann McLain 4 years ago

      A sled goes on the ground, people. It's a sled. That other thing's a knit cap. Shheeeez.

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      Irene 4 years ago

      I'm a Canadian from the Toronto area working on a project in NC and burst out laughing the first time I heard someone refer to a TOQUE as a Toboggan, we just ride down snowy hills on them. Of course I had to google it to see the origin of how the one word could be used for the 2 very different things and here I am. We refer to any knitted winter hat as a toque, I suspect due to the french influence even though they use the term more widely for various kinds of hats. We spell all manner of words crazy because of the french like centre, metre, litre, cheque (instead of check) so why not toque? Poutine anyone? eh?

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      KYTchr 4 years ago

      Born in KY, reared in Ohio. I never had one, just called it a hat (caps were baseball caps). Moved back to KY, husband's family calls them Tamboggans or boggans.

      In winter, my grandfather hauled logs on a huge "sled" (no runners).

      A friend from Clinton Co. KY calls pop "a cold drink" What kind of cold drink do you want? Daddy called a tall dresser a chester drawers (chest of drawers).

      The one that still bothers me today is steeple used for staple... hammer that steeple to hold the wire on the fence. Steeples are on the top of the church, hubby!!

      Dinner for lunch caused me problems when I moved back to KY, didn't pay for my lunch because the girl was taking up "Dinner money". I was thinking, "Good grief! How long is their school day".

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      alfina-nar 4 years ago

      Thanks a lot! I found this very interesting, accounting the fact that I'm a Russian who tries to teach English.

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 4 years ago from Central Texas

      In Texas, we calling shopping carts "buggies" too. The only time I've heard "stocking cap" is in Christmas stories....never in normal everyday life. LOL

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      Jeff 4 years ago

      Oh - and I'm still a hold-out in NC about calling a grocery cart a "buggie."

      :-\

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      Jeff 4 years ago

      Growing up in the heartland (KC) - we called them "Stocking Caps." Put that on Google images and see what happens.

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      Mark 4 years ago

      Always been a hat to this NC born fella. And when you ordered a Coke at the lunch counter, the person behind the counter would ask "What kind of Coke?". Could be a Sprite, Dr. Pepper, etc.

    • KCC Big Country profile image
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      KCC Big Country 4 years ago from Central Texas

      LOL....it seems to come up a lot between friends from different parts of the country.

    • Weswiki profile image

      Wes 4 years ago from USA

      haha! a friend and I were just discussing this. I'm kinda curious as to how that developed linguistically..hmmm

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      SKim 4 years ago

      I actually live in rural Ohio, always called the cap a toboggan as well as the sled... But people from the cities corrected my mistake (the cap is just a cap apparently)

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      bryan 5 years ago

      We call them beanies in la cali

      Never heard of toboggans sled or cap

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      Madeline 5 years ago

      I live in Kentucky and I've always heard the name 'toboggan' connected to the winter hat.

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      Ty 5 years ago

      I just laughed like a little kid riding a toboggan. That was a well written, great article. Thanks for your story

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      Laura 5 years ago

      We have the same debate in our family. My mom & dad transplanted from Buffalo to the south called the knit caps toboggan. We grew up calling them that & my southern born kids did too. Enter a son-in-law from Syracuse, NY & he & my daughter have the same lighthearted debate all the time. He insists a toboggan is something you ride, not wear. Ha,ha.

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      Marianne 5 years ago

      One only needs to look up the origin of the word "toboggan" to find out that it comes from the French Canadian work tabagane meaning sled. The only reason it has evolved to being confused with a knitted cap is because you would wear a cap when you tobogganed (yes, it is a verb, too). So, the word originated up North and the southerners got it a little mixed up. End of story...eh? :)

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      MardiG 5 years ago

      Haha - I am originally from CT, moved to SC 6 yrs ago. One of the neighborhood teenagers said he was doing some yard work and had a "toboggan" in his backpack. I was like wait...what??? He pulled out a knitted hat - what us Yanks would call a ski hat - So I asked him again what it was called - a just busted out laughing. When I explained what I was thinking - wooden sled w/curved front - he just looked at me like I was nuts...When I saw this I had to show him... Thanks to the "other" Mardi who explained the history of the toboggan.

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      Martha 5 years ago

      I grew up in Michigan where toboggans were sleds and hats were hats. Now I live in WV and was surprised to hear hats called toboggans. It bothered me a lot when I first heard it and it bothers me now! People here do not even know that a sled that is wooden and runs along the ground IS a toboggan! I had hoped that it was just the ignorance of the locals in this area. In a discussion with my 15 year old about this subject, I thought I would prove to her that the people here are nuts! I was disappointed to find this article because I

      Ike being right!! :-)

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      Mardi 5 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      KCC Big Country,

      I just had to add this comment since I was recently back up in the Great White North. Toboggan is the English translation of a Cree word for sled, which was used to transport materials across the snow in winter. These were the long, flat bottomed "sleds", with no runners. Once it has runners it is officially a sled. As I said before what you guys down here call a toboggan is a tuque in Canada, which is a word derived from the French.

      Why the tuque is a toboggan down here is a mystery, but then again so are so many things!!!!

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      KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Sean, I'm glad you Googled it and found my lively discussion on the topic. :) Now you see your friend is not alone. :)

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      KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Greg, I think "fixin" is the probably the most difficult for someone else (not from around here) to understand. I know that was the case for my British husband. I say "fixin to" pretty often. :)

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      KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Todd, it still could be that one of your parents or grandparents was from the South that caused it to be passed down to you. :)

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      Sean 5 years ago

      No kidding,

      We just had this exact same experience. SSG Hadaway, (Native Southerner from South Alabama), had just come back from a run and said he was wearing his toboggan. I grew in the Northwest and thought it was little strange to say toboggan. We got into a short debate on what a toboggan was so we google'd it. It was quite comical to see this exact story.

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      Dan 5 years ago

      Grew up in IN and OH and knit caps were always tobaggans.

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      Greg 5 years ago

      Oh, and a sweeper and a vacuum are two completely different appliances... a vacuum is electric and has a sucking mechanism. A sweeper is not electric... just has a brush on a roller that sweeps up the top layer of crud when you roll it over the carpet.

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      Samantha 5 years ago

      Charlotte, NC

      Toboggan, beanie, or hat work for me

      a sled is a sled

      soda is soda not pop, but I will take soda pop. I probably will not know what you are talking about if you said pop to me.If called coke, id bring you a coke

      shopping cart or buggy, but only if I am in the store would I understand buggy for shopping cart

      tissue or kleenex

      sandwich would be sandwich. maybe sub

      trunk

      shopping bag

      same as ohio lifer for sucker and lollipop

      sprinkles

      dresser

      couch or sofa love seat-2 seat

      purse

      vacuum

      pancake

      millie- Florida is full of old northerners.

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      Greg 5 years ago

      Typo in previous-- meant "year" not "hear."

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      Greg 5 years ago

      Crazy that this topic is still active! It was always "toboggan" to me. Same for two or three generations back. I'm in eastern Tennessee by the way, where shopping carts are "buggies," dinner is served at noon (though I call it lunch), we eat "sweet potatoes" instead of "yams," and things about to occur in the near future are "fixing" to happen. A funny story-- my mom and her parents spent a hear in Ohio when she was a child. My grandmother was made fun of when she went to a store and asked for a "poke of maters." (She meant a bag of tomatoes.)

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      Todd 5 years ago

      I googled "Toboggan hat vs sled" just this evening over a conversation with a coworker. I'm born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and although I know what a toboggan sled is, my family has always call a knit cap a toboggan. So... I guess it's not just a North - South thing!

      Great post!

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      KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Where are you from Robert?

      I could do some research and write an article about what everyone calls sodas. :) Around here (central Texas) we say sodas. Growing up....my dad had me calling them soda water.

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      Robert 5 years ago

      I was curious about this, me and a friend got into an argument about this same thing. All my life I have heard a knitted hat called a toboggan, so now I can say I win. Now does anyone know a good site about the proper name for soda's, is it coke, pop or soda?

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      Danoi 5 years ago

      I'm from Canada. We know winter stuff. I've never heard of a hat referred to as a Toboggan. Sorrry

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      kariyaki 5 years ago

      I had someone from work text me just tonight, asking me if I'd left a gray with black stripes toboggan behind. And I was like, a what? A sled? We're in Texas. And apparently, it's a southern terminology for knit hats but here's the thing. I'm FROM Texas and I've never heard it called that. To me, a toboggan was a sled -- which I've never seen in my life because it doesn't snow here.

      So I don't know why I've never heard of it before, except that maybe it's because both of my parents are northerners? I dunno.

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      jfromOH 5 years ago

      Okay I researched this topic because I got into a debate about toboggan the hat or sled with some folks I work with. I am originally from Springfield, OH close to Columbus and I grew up referring to hats as toboggans. Sleds were sleds. I went to college in WV and now I live in TN and no one else I have run into outside of my hometown in Ohio has understood what I meant by toboggan. So I am not sure I would call this a north south phenomena, especially after reading the post from Western PA.

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      vtrippe 5 years ago

      Texan (15 years), previously Floridian (14 years), originally Alabaman (many years). We knew that a toboggan was a sled, but we also called the knit caps either toboggans or watch caps.