What is a Toboggan? Hat or Sled?

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 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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Comments 166 comments

Benson Yeung profile image

Benson Yeung 7 years ago from Hong Kong

great read.

how about wearing a tobbogan to ride a tobbogan? that should be fun.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

I'm wondering what I'd do with a toboggan (sled) in central Texas. Wonder if they glide over prairie grass very well? Hmmmmm


Sylvia 7 years ago

I just wrote up a blog about this exact thing because of a conversation between my husband (from NJ) and I (from OK). I just did a search to try and find the history behind the name to find out why we call a hat a toboggan and found this!

Everyone thinks I'm crazy :-) Good to know I'm not alone :)


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Sylvia, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! You are definitely NOT crazy. Just one of the G.R.I.T.S. (Girls Raised in the South) who recognizes a toboggan as a hat. I visited your blog and I love the picture!


Mardi profile image

Mardi 7 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

Great article but I beg to differ - we all ride toboggans in Canada. Didn't hear they were hats until I moved to Texas. What you call toboggans (hats) we call touques!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL Mardi. Well, since we have no use for a toboggan sled in Texas.........

I'm sure you'll find other things that we call something else.


49er profile image

49er 7 years ago from USA

I am from the South and call these kinds of hats toboggans as well, although I have heard people refer to sleds as toboggans too.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Yup.....you're one of 'us'. :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting 49er.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Isn't it funny how all of the Google ads show "hats"? It seems Google is from the south....LOL


Donna 6 years ago

GREAT!! Thanks! Love it! I stopped using the term because I feared ridicule. I grew up saying "toboggan" to mean a winter knit cap, but stopped using the term because I thought maybe my dad had been too creative with his language. So nice to know this falls into the category of lightening bugs versus fireflies--and we all know the correct name is really lightening bugs!!


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KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL Donna....you should say it loud and say it proud! Thanks for stopping by!


Karen J. Swinson 6 years ago

I am from Snow Hill, NC (no we do not have hills of snow)-

Just wanted you to know that we call a knit cap a toboggan-for short we have call it just a boggan (my problem now is how is it spelled? toboggan or taboggon?)

I think it is wonderful that one word can mean so many things-depending on where you are from. Question- what do you call the space in the back of your car where you keep your spare tire? Some call it a "boot" and some call it the

"trunk". Also what do you call that thing inside your car where you may keep your map or gloves? Some call it a "glove box" and some call it a "glove compartment" Last but not least when I was living in Texas I learned the difference between bbq and a cook out

Thanks for sharing


jc from ky 6 years ago

Lol. I just used this article as proof. I have had this discussion for a little while now. I call them toboggan, but every one else calls them something else. We get bored in the south and try to escape mediocrity, lol, and become creative. I love the lightening bug and cook out reference, btw. Another thing, check out words such as gaumy, used to refer to messiness, and know those words are Turkish with no explanation as to how hundreds of years of southern, appalachian woman have yelled at their children to stop ''gauming' the house up.' Among many other examples.


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KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL.....Thanks for stopping by Karen and JC. Glad you were able to settle a "discussion" with my article. I'll have to look up gaumy.


Chery from VA but now in NC 6 years ago

I grew up in the mountains of Va and we always called this hat a toboggan and one evening while having dinner with my husband and his family, I mentioned that I needed a toboggan to wear while we were in NYC. They thought this was so funny (among many other things I have said over the years) and thus began the joking. Many cell phones came out at the table to find a definition of toboggan that included something you wear to keep your head warm.

Thank you for your site and knowing I'm not the only person who's had this issue before. LOL

BTW, I bought them all toboggans for Christmas with a hand-made label with the definition of toboggan on it.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL...that's so funny, Chery! Thanks for sharing! I'm glad I could back you up on this one! I love that you bought them toboggans with the definition included. LOL


Julie from PA 6 years ago

I am from Western Pennsylvania and we always called winter knit hats tobbogans and didn't think anything of it until I went to college and was ridiculed for it. Tobbogans are only hats to me and sleds are sleds.


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KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

High 5, Julie! I'm with you! Glad to know it's more widespread than I thought.


Kat 5 years ago

It's that time of year again- time to put on your toque and jump on the toboggan!

I'm from Northern New York, my fiancé and I now live in VA. I secretly cringe deep down inside when I hear the word toboggan to signify 'hat'. So, I did a little digging myself- not saying it's wrong to use it now, just saying

if you look at the etymology for the words:

Toque is Arabic for 'round' or from the middle french for 'hat' and has been used by the French for centuries to define hat (esp. a chef's hat). Now, it's used by Canadians as well. Toboggan is derived from an Algonquian/Canadian French word meaning sled.

Toque has been used as the word for hat in French locals for centuries while the usage of toboggan for a hat been much more recent- my southern fiance's 1990 eddition of Merriam-Webster does not include hat under the def. for toboggan. I assume that maybe the idea of a toboggan hat- the hat you ware while on a toboggan, got shortened to toboggan at some point and disassociated from the act of tobogganing. Maybe since you don't toboggan in the south?

I say to each his own- but I would rather not ware a cumbersome toboggan on my head, just as much as my Fiancé will not dare use the word toque.


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks Kat. I've never heard toque and you're right, we have no use for a toboggan sled where I'm from in central Texas.


Hoosier 5 years ago

Oh what a fun topic to read! I was recently approached and told, "I like your toboggan", to which I replied with a blank stare. He pointed to my head and said, "Hat, toboggan, whatever." lol

I did a google image search and the results were, by a land slide (a-hem), predominantly sleds. Though I was raised knowing a toboggan is a sled, I've only ever called them sleds.

We were raised calling knit hats, stocking caps. (which is what they are.)

A google image search on toques was a blend of chef hats and stocking caps.

Whereas a search for stocking caps is all stocking caps. =]

When we lived in Cali, the word was "beanie" and that definitely made me laugh because I was imagining a twirling propeller cap that Tweedledee and Tweedledum were known for. However,I am much more willing to accept beanie over toque or toboggan.


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL....thanks Hoosier! I'm with you on beanies. It all depends on what you grow up calling them. :)


Brie 5 years ago

I have lived in Texas all my life (although my dad's from Connecticut, so maybe that's the difference), but I'd never heard of "toboggan" as a hat until the other day when a woman who came into my store asked for one. I goggled at her and said, "...you want a sled?" and she, in return, looked at me like I was stupid. In fact, the reason I found this page is because, well, it's not like I go sledding all the time; I thought I could have been mistaken. For what it's worth, I grew up calling the hats "ski caps", "knit caps", or "watchman's caps".


Whitney 5 years ago

Another good one is "fish camps". I am from NC and my fiancé is from FL and had no clue what a fish camp was. To me it is a restaurant where you go and eat fish! Anyone else with me?


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

The only "fish camp" I am aware of is used at local high schools here for the 1 day orientation they hold for incoming Freshman since Freshman are often called "fish". Therefore, they nicknamed the camp "Fish Camp". I'm too far from the coast in Texas to have fish places. We have Long John Silver's and Red Lobster.


Martha 5 years ago

Hey, I'm with you, Whitney. I'm from NC as well. The county I live in is chock full of fish camps. Or it used to be -- I think some of them have closed by now. My friends and I laugh at the term. Get your sweet tea, hush puppies, and fried fish at the fish camp! I don't care that much for such fare, though I am a native.

I am well aware of the sled/hat debate for toboggan. I have dated a Yankee before. My sister currently dates a guy from Michigan. I was staying overnight at their place and asked my sister for a hat to sleep in (it was unusually cold). When my sister's boyfriend asked what she was getting from the (tiny) closet shelf, she said: A toboggan, and a second later realized what kidding she was in for. Sure enough, her boyfriend said: "Holy Snikies (sp?)! We have a sled in that closet?!" One example of a toboggan when I was growing up, was the knit hat that tapered down to your waist and ended in a tassel. You could even wrap it around your neck. Maybe this is the sort of hat people used while tobogganing.


April 5 years ago

Well Ohio isn't the south and I grew up with the hat being a toboggan. However I now live in Boston with my fiancé who grew up here. The other day I commented on the toboggan he was wearing and he informed me that he's not a sled. When I gave him a strange look he said a toboggan is a sled. I told him it's also a hat. Now the debate is on!!


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks Martha & April. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who runs into people from all over that know toboggan as a hat! As you said....the debate is on!


Elysian1223 5 years ago

My husband, my friend, and I were watching the bears game tonight and I made the comment that at least they had the cheerleaders dressed appropriately for the snowy weather Chicago is having tonight. My friend says, "What were the wearing?" I reply with "Big coats and toboggans." She starts laughing and says, "I'm glad you used that word! I thought I was the only one who calls them toboggans!" Thus led to the search which led to your blog! Thank KCC for posting this! We first used dictionary.com to find out that a toboggan only had one meaning there. To us, in Southern Indiana, a toboggan has always meant a knit hat used in the winter, NOT a sled. Because to us a sled is a sled and toboggan is a toboggan! However, I have also heard them called, and used myself, the term beanie - which is definitely a west coast thing. It's kind of like people in Alabama calling a paper clip a jimmy! There's a different name for almost everything in different regions, just as there are different dialects of the same language in every country. This has truly been a great read!


larry 5 years ago

where do you buy one, i am from fl. its cold now and i need one


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Elysian! I'm glad I could help! This has definitely been a fun hub for me. I love hearing from all the folks who experience the same frustruation I have experienced when those around us like to think of it only as a sled.

Larry, you can find toboggans anywhere in Texas. In Florida, you might have to order it online.


gammag973 5 years ago

I grew up in TN and have always called a knit cap a toboggan. When I was younger my cousin from the left coast informed me that they called them beanies. Having watched The Little Rascals as a child and reading Alice in Wonderland I could not bring myself to call them beanies. However, I have come up with a simple solution to this debate. Why not just wear a knit cap with the design of a sled on it? There will be no question to the fact that you have a toboggan on your head...


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

That's a good idea, Gammag973! It's tempting to start a company called Toboggan Hat Company just so they can have an official name. :)


Rocky Scott 5 years ago

I'm from Mississippi and have this argument with my wife constantly (but she also calls floor boards ''flow bodes''). I grew up calling them ski caps. Calling them toboggan caps would be more correct than just calling them toboggans.


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Hi Rocky, is your wife from Mississippi too? Ski caps makes sense too, but you probably have as much (if not less) skiing in Mississippi as I do in Texas.


kmkat 5 years ago

I love the regional variations in speech! Had never heard toboggan applied to a hat -- learn something new [on the internet] every day. I must expand the sled definition, though. Here in the Scandinavian Midwest, a toboggan is a particular type of sled, one that is long and flat-bottomed, with no runners. Sleds are used by kids, toboggans by all ages.


Bubba 5 years ago

I'm from eastern SC, but I don't wear no sled on my head! On the other hand, I work with folks who have difficulty deciding what a cock is......

The North shoulda just let us go in 1860, we just don't have a clue.


dwh 5 years ago

What a funny hub...this has been such a hoot to read. I live in Cali and recently met a couple from Texas. When the wife called my "beanie" a "toboggan" we looked at her like she was nuts. I had to come home and search the Net for the term, since of the three dictionaries in my house, all referred to the sled as a "toboggan". It's sort of like when I met some guys from Boston and commented on their accent and they in turn laughed and said "if you thought ours was funny, you should hear yours". Me, an accent, born and raised in Cali, naw, I don't have an accent. I just talk really fast, and now I have a new word I can use when referring to the hats on top of peoples heads.


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Glad you enjoyed it dwh! :)

Did the Texas couple ask you where you lost your propeller on your beanie? We usually associate beanies with the kind with a propeller on top.

I used to work in collections at a large magazine publisher calling on big advertisers to pay their bills. I often got asked by Californians about my accent.


Lauren 5 years ago

I've called the hats toboggans all my life too, and I was born and live in Texas. I said it just the other day and my friends had no idea what I was talking about. They insisted it was called a beanie. It will always be toboggans to me though.


Carl 5 years ago

I was just browsing the web to find info on toboggans(the knit hat kind). I grew up in western North Carolina and for over fifty years my entire family and friends have called the knit hat a toboggan. I am also with you ladies, I could use some good old sweet tea, hush puppies and fried catfish. See you maybe at the fish camp! Good sleding.


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks Lauren and Carl. I'm really encouraged by the number of people posting here that have been calling their knit caps toboggans all their lives. It's more widespread than I thought, but still pretty typically southern U.S. Keep those heads warm with your toboggans!


Mike Blackwood 5 years ago

Count my vote for it being a hat : )

Born and bred in West Virginia, along the Ohio River, and everyone I knew called them toboggans~ Now that I've had the chance to see a bot of the world and meet others, I realize how wonderfully varied our English tongue can be. : )


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks, Mike! Another hat it is! :)

I agree, I have made that same conclusion.....we just have different ways of saying the same thing depending on where we grow up and where our parents grew up.


cjrickards 5 years ago

I am from Delaware and I have always called a knit hat a toboggan. However, the other day our friends daughter heard me tell my daughter to get my son's toboggan from the other room, she stopped in her tracks and laughed at me. She said, "what kind of crazy word is that?" They moved here from Maryland. So I looked it up and found your blog. Very interesting! I loved reading all the stories! BTW I have never heard the phrase "Fish camps" :)


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

I love it! See, I'm glad it's spreading north! :) Just wait.....one day, we'll have them ALL calling knit hats toboggans! Muahhhhhh-aaaahhh--aaahhh :) It is fun to see where everyone is from and find out that everyone seems to run into someone that doesn't call it that that thinks we've lost our minds. :)


karp 5 years ago

i,m from upper michigan and i,m finnish we call a knit hat a chook


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

I'd don't believe I've run across anyone else that calls knit hat chooks. Thanks for adding to the list, karp!


Laurel 5 years ago

My husband is from MS and I'm from CA. We live in TX now and have been going round about this for days! A toboggan is not a hat, it's a sled. Now is it a toboggan hat or cap? Yes, just like a jacket you wear skiing is a ski jacket:):) I figure without much snow in the south they kept the hat and ditched the sled.

Here is a word for you, my MIL uses it quite often and it took me a while to figure out what it meant without being rude and asking her. I thought she had made it up until I heard someone else in MS using it. STROW or Strowed. It's a mix between strew and destroyed.


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks for stopping by Laurel. I think you're right, without much snow here in Texas, we had no need for a tobaggan sled. No use in wasting a good word! :)

I haven't heard "strowed". Interesting.


Darla 5 years ago

Hi there! Howdy! and Hello! I'm from California, grew up in Las Vegas and have lived in Austin, Texas for the past 17 years. When I was little we used to take our sleds and saucers and "toboggans" up to Mt. Baldy to play in the snow. We would bundle up in our coats and "ski caps", which at the time I thought was a funny term because I had not yet had the opportunity in my life to ski. We drank "cokes" with our "lunch". Now, I live in Austin and today it is snowing and this all came to have meaning in my life. I was wearing my "ski cap", which I had knitted myself, and am quite proud of and was complimented on my nice work on my "toboggan". I was asked if I wanted a "soda" with my "dinner" and was quite confused because it was "lunch" time.

Living in Texas has been such an adventure. I have taken to calling the local language "Texese" because sometimes it is hard to get along if you aren't a native. I love Texas and most of all Austin, and have learned to live peaceably with the natives and my handy smart phone sure makes translations easy! I still maintain that you glide on a Toboggan and wear a cap, or hat on your head. Thanks for this blog and I am thankful to live in such a colorful nation!


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL....thanks Darla for sharing your adventures in Texas. Being one of the natives, I like your term "Texese". :) Glad you've enjoyed it here. Austin is a great place. I'm enjoying the snow too!


Okie in Kentucky 5 years ago

Hey y'all ~ I moved to KY from OKC about 5 years ago and had NEVER heard a ski cap referred to as a toboggan until then. Not once. I always thought a toboggan was a sled - although I admittedly had never (and still have never) ridden on one. Just thought I'd throw in my two cents here, because apparently northern Oklahoma missed the bus on the whole toboggan-as-a-ski-cap thing.


Miranda Vinson 5 years ago

I erupted into the same laughter when my husband called his hat a toboggan. Of course this is the same man who goes to "get his ears lowered" and remarks how something is all whoppyjawed.


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Okie-it really surprises me that Okies don't call them toboggans. Good to know.

Miranda-all of those phrases make perfect sense to me. :)


cannedam 5 years ago

That's odd. I'm from Ohio. My parents are from PA. We've always worn toboggans on our heads in the winter. Now I live in Canada and they're called toques. Nobody southern in my family at all. *shrug*


Kathy Dion-Tyree 5 years ago

Awesome article. I'm from Canada originally and we call them toques but I'm married and now live in TN and we had the same discussion as you and your friends. I told him that when we're in Canada I dared him to ask one of my friends for a toboggan to wear. He got a kick out of that! Thanks for your article!


Kelsie Ilesha 5 years ago

I'm from central Ohio, and I've always called the hats toboggans. but that could be because my dad spent the majority of his teen and early 20s in Texas, and he picked up some words. idk.

they're pretty much referred to as beanies to everyone else i know though. lol

I was reading something that said all the different names for them and toboggan wasn't listed... so i looked it up, and i found out it was actually a sled. i was like wha?!? lol.

I have NEVER heard of a sled being called a toboggan. it made me laugh. :)


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks for stopping by and adding to the discussion, cammedam, Kathy & Kelsie!


Maria 5 years ago

My husband grew up in W.VA and insisted that a knit cap is a toboggan, and his sister verrified it. Then, she told me that paper or plastic bags were called "pokes". So, there's another one for you to ponder.


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL....I haven't heard "poke" for paper or plastic bags. I wonder how far that one reaches. Thanks, Maria.


P41N 5 years ago

I,m from Charleston WV and have always used the word toboggan for a hat but I know it as a wooden sled also. As for "poke" Haven't you heard pig in a poke or poke of tobacco. Just my 2 cents.


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

P41N.....I have heard "pig in a poke"....guess I never thought about what it might mean.


Scoutmaster 5 years ago

I've lived my entire 56 years in Pennsylvania, so lots of snow, and I have spent most of those years in the outdoors. With a Boy Scout winter campout pending I was brushing up on some of my winter camping books and decided to check on line also. In an article entitled Winter Camping Tips from The Lightweight Backpacker @ www.backpacking.net, the author refers to wearing a toboggan. I never heard the term used for anything but something that you ride downhill in the snow, and only an idiot would try to wear one on his head. I suspected that it may refer to those silly looking knit caps with the braids that I have been seeing recently but it took quite a LOT of on line research before I found something that confirmed this. To me a knit cap has always been either a "watch cap" (military term) or, if it had a mask, a "ski cap".


Dave 5 years ago

Nope, sorry, you're all wrong.

It's called a stocking cap.

So there.


5 years ago

My stupid northern fiancé also made fun of me endlessly, forcing me to break down and do some research. Glad I found this page.


Matt 5 years ago

I'm from Southwest Virginia, and I always used "toboggan" for winter hats. I thought it was weird when I heard the word used to refer to sleds.


cindy 5 years ago

Thanks for this site. It's amazing what gets Googled these days. Makes me not feel so "different" LOL

My hubby & I discussed the "toboggan".....sled &/or hat.

He said knit cap & a sled. I said sled & NOT a hat. Both being from FL, I HAD to know the true answer. I have now apologized. He has three toboggans & no sleds, as we certainly have no use for one here!

BTW, a fish camp is a bunch of cabins, campers or trailers in an area around a lake where you go to catch fish (like a hunting camp or a "deer camp" in the south)


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks for your comments Scoutmaster, Dave, J, Matt, and Cindy.

It always tickles me to find out others have this same discussion and find a need to settle the "argument". :)


Sandy R 5 years ago

I got into this EXACT conversation today w/ some friends from Minnesota. I grew up in Texas and my husband and I call a stocking cap a tobbogan... but my minnesota friends roared w/ laughter when i told them I had lost my tobbogan. So I had to start w/ research and found this article.


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Hi Sandy R....hopefully, you were able to show your friends that you were not alone in calling your hat a toboggan! :) I would have known EXACTLY what you meant.


LD 5 years ago

I grew up in WV and there we call a knit winter hat a toboggan. My husband is from Northeast Ohio and he laughed at me for calling it that. I had to make my sister and friend from WV convince him that it wasn't just me that called them that! :/


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KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

It's sure nice to have back-up when things like this come up, doesn't it, LD?


Motown 4 years ago

Coming from Detroit and living in Chicago and St. Louis during my 35 yrs on Earth I have always called a tobbagan a sled and a knit hat the thing on your head. We always went tobbaganing in the winter. I never heard this term for hat until I moved to Chattanooga TN. My co-workers love to pick on the Yankee who says pop and had no clue that I could put a tobbagan on my head. Thanks for the blog, I have heard the Tuque and beanie references but never tobbagan. Guess I will sip my "coke" this winter and enjoy my warm tobaggan.


Abbie 4 years ago

I'm from Nebraska and I recently moved to North Carolina with my boyfriend, who grew up here. He and his family call their hats toboggans. I had never heard that before. So we all had a good little laugh about it. Then today he told me to Google it and this is wear it lead me! Good stuff! ;-D


lc 4 years ago

I just had this conversation today with a friend from Minnesota! She thinks it's hilarious that I called a cap, a toboggan! I started second guessing myself and wondering if I was mistaken (even though I knew I couldn't have called it this all my life and none of my southern friends corrected or laughed at me). So here I am reading this blog and finding I'm not only right but it can be googled and toboggan is defined as a hat!


Ohio Steve 4 years ago

OK, I loved reading all this. I've only recently heard it called a toboggan. I've long known it as a touque or knit hat. But, growing up, I knew it as a HAT. I will always remember my dad saying "Put on a damn hat." Can't get that outta my head.


Ohio Steve 4 years ago

Felt I had to add that the picture at the top, we would call a sled. A toboggan is flat with no runners and it has the front end curled so you don't dig into the snow when going down hill. Absolutely no way of steering except to lean hard left or right. Snow, by the way, is that white fluffy stuff that falls from the sky when it's cold outside. If you southerners ever see it, call us up north. We have snow plows and we know how to use them.


Ohio Steve 4 years ago

OK, I'm spending too much time here. I re-read Laurel's comment from about 8 monthes ago. I think I know "Strowed" If you drop the de off destroyed and say it with a drawl, you get strowed. I think that may just be a heavy accent and bad English. Up north here with the heavy eastern European influence, we get lots of words like "Grudge key" it's the thing you use to open that building that you park your cars in. "Floss water" the thing you smack and kill flies with...listen as you say it! "Mawm Back" something you say when directing a person to back up. My favorite... "you-ins and y'all." You-ins (y'ins) is used when talking to 1 or 2 people and y'all (you all) is for talking to 3 or more. WHO came up with that!!! I was corrected once about Y'ins. I was told y'ins is 1 person and y'inses is 2 people.

I've noticed it seems that there is even a difference between us northern Ohioans and the southern Ohioans. But as we see it here in Ohio, southern Ohioans are just northern hillbilies. HA. Sorry, most of my family is from southern Ohio.


Verna Weeks 4 years ago

I grew up in West Virginia and we have always called the knit caps, Toboggans! I asked a friend of my from NC what he called a knit cap that you were in the cold and he said toboggan as well. I lived in DE for 18 years and whenever i called the hat a toboggan I would get the same laughter.

It's like calling a shopping cart a buggy! That got laughter too but when I go south it's normal! LOL I have heard some crazy things that Northerners say but mostly I am trying to figure out what they are talking about! It's all good though!


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KCC Big Country 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks for stopping by Motown. Glad to know that Chattanooga is on the ball and has you converted.

Thanks for stopping by Abbie and glad Google lead you here. Also glad to know that NC calls them toboggans.

Glad I could help you verify your sanity, LC

Sorry it took you so long to be exposed to toboggans as hats, Ohio Steve. Glad we could enlighten you. When we get some of that white stuff you talk about we’ll holler for assistance. I can honestly say I have never heard someone say “y’ins”.

Thanks for stopping by Verna Weeks. Glad to know West Virginia is on board.


KANSAS TRANSPLANT 4 years ago

I searched for this to try to prove to my students that I'm not crazy. As I came into class one morning I made the comment "my ears are freezing because i forgot my toboggan" One student asked why I would need a toboggan to keep my ears warm. Well the debate ensued. It's nice to find out that I'm not crazy, I'm just southern by the Grace of God. ROLL TIDE ROLL


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KCC Big Country 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Kansas Transplant, glad to be able to confirm your sanity. :) I believe this article (we call a hub) demonstrates just how differently we all utilize the same words. Makes me proud to be from the South. :)


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Millie Jordan 4 years ago from Lakeland, Florida

Your article nailed it on the head. My daughter is a Radiation Therapist in Florida. Plus she was born and raised in Florida. At her job she made the comment that it was getting cold and she was going to wear her TOBOGGAN in the next morning. Two other ladies looked at her like she had lost her mind and asked her how she would wear her toboggan? When she replied, why on my head of course. The other two burst out with laughter and asked just how she planned to wear a sled on her head. She was dumbfounded by their comment,and as soon as she arrived home she began telling her husband and I about this conversation. I told her it had aways been a toboggan cap in the South as far as I knew. But that I did know there was a sled called a Toboggan too. But, it was a Northern thing.

Thank you for letting us all know that BOTH are correct uses of the word. Now she can go back to work and prove to these Northern folks that she is indeed correct in her Sourthern speak.


jmarsh 4 years ago

This was great.....I work and own a hair salon in southern Indiana, and have had many people find some of our names for things and what we eat very odd. I just recently had someone correct me that a toboggan was a does not a hat. At least I am not alone on this debate, but for more things of right or wrong....I have had people question that many around here put milk in there oatmeal, and we love biscuits and gravy (they think yuck, why...we say yum!!)


Anne 4 years ago

Just had this come up in my daughter's high school cooking class here in the south. It was her first day to actually be able to be in the "lab" and she was corrected and told to take off the toboggan because of the fibers that can fall in food. She had been told to bring in a cap to cover her hair. She wore what we call a watchcap. Communication! She should have worn a baseball cap.


Ohio Lifer 4 years ago

Stumbled upon this excellent little read while doing image searches for winter hats for a small project I'm working on. As a native of (Northern) Ohio, a toboggan to me has always been the flat sled (though I'd like to point out that in my own usage, I prefer the term "sled" for virtually all types, and "toboggan" to me only means the old-fashioned kind that no one uses anymore). The head covering has always been just "hat" (or perhaps, to keep it apart from other types of hats; "knit hat", "stocking cap", or even "ski cap")

I'm going to venture an entymological guess here that the word originated as a term for the sled, and was only carried over to the hat as it was the type of hat people who would ride on toboggans would be wearing. Probably originally called a "tobogganers hat" or "tobogganing hat" or something of the like, and then later shortened.

And while I'm here:

The wire baskets with a handle and 4 wheels that are used in grocery/department stores are shopping CARTS (as opposed to "buggies", "carriages", or "trolleys")

A carbonated beverage is a POP (On this one, I'll also accept "soda", but if anyone reading this calls them all "Cokes", you're so incredibly wrong it hurts me; calling all tissues by the brand name of "Kleenex" is fine, because a tissue is a tissue, but not all carbonated beverages are interchangeable. Therefore, the brand name "Coke" can not be universally applied... The exchange, "I'll have a Coke to drink" "What kind?" "Umm, Root Beer" is just assinine to me)

The storage area in the back of a car is called a TRUNK (I always thought "boot" was mostly a European/British usage, anyways, rather than regional in the U.S.)

A long sandwich is a SUB (as opposed to grinder/hoagie/hero/whatever)

The thing you carry your purchases home from the store in is a shopping BAG (Not "sack")

The hard candy on a stick is called a SUCKER (the term "lollipop", at least to me, specifically refers to the old-timey, large, round, swirled/twisted kinds; little ones, like Dum-dums and Tootsie-Pops and whatever are all "suckers")

The meal eaten late in the evening (usually the last of the day, at around 6 PM or so) is DINNER (with midday meal being "lunch"; the term "supper" for the final meal of the day is one that I regularly hear from people around here, so the two are more or less interchangeable in my area, but I've always used "dinner")

Small, brightly colored pieces of candy that are spread over ice cream or cakes are called SPRINKLES (not "jimmies")

The piece of furniture with drawers that you store clothing in is a DRESSER (not a "bureau")

The long piece of furniture that you sit on (usually three seats) is a COUCH ("Sofa" is acceptable, but not my preference. NEVER use "davenport". For completeness's sake, "love seat" refers to the two-seat model.)

The bag that women carry their wallets, makeup, sunglasses, etc. in is a PURSE (Not a "handbag".)

The home appliance that sucks dirt off of your floor is called a VACUUM CLEANER or just VACUUM (Not a "sweeper".)

The flat griddle-cooked breakfast food is a PANCAKE (Not a "hotcake" or "flapjack".)

Well, that about concludes the examples I can think of. Anyone else have any regional differences to add?


Tina W/ 4 years ago

In central Arkansas we don't usually have much snow but it does get cold so we always wore a "toboggan" on our "noggin" : )


Mike 4 years ago

I've lived in Raleigh, NC for most of my 40 years and have always referred to these hats as 'toboggans.' If one were to call them a 'toboggan hat', it wouldn't seem so strange now would it? ;) To be honest, growing up I had never heard of a toboggan (type of sled) before. We just called them sleds, as someone else already mentioned.


vtrippe 4 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.


jfromOH 4 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.


kariyaki 4 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.


Danoi 4 years ago

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


Robert 4 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?


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

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.


Todd 4 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!


Greg 4 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.)


Greg 4 years ago

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


Samantha 4 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.


Greg 4 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.


Dan 4 years ago

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


Sean 4 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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KCC Big Country 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

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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KCC Big Country 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

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 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

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


Mardi profile image

Mardi 4 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!!!!


Martha 4 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!! :-)


MardiG 4 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.


Marianne 4 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? :)


Laura 4 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.


Ty 4 years ago

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


Madeline 4 years ago

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


bryan 4 years ago

We call them beanies in la cali

Never heard of toboggans sled or cap


SKim 3 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)


Weswiki profile image

Weswiki 3 years ago from USA

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


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 3 years ago from Central Texas Author

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


Mark 3 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.


Jeff 3 years ago

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


Jeff 3 years ago

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

:-\


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KCC Big Country 3 years ago from Central Texas Author

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


alfina-nar 3 years ago

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


KYTchr 3 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".


Irene 3 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?


Ann McLain 3 years ago

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


Daryl 3 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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KCC Big Country 3 years ago from Central Texas Author

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


scrabblemom 3 years ago

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


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KCC Big Country 3 years ago from Central Texas Author

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


dentonj24 3 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. :)


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KCC Big Country 3 years ago from Central Texas Author

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 :)


Millie Lee 3 years ago

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


Millie Lee 3 years ago

*boggans* NOT boggnas. :)


Derek 3 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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KCC Big Country 3 years ago from Central Texas Author

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!


Andy 3 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.


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KCC Big Country 3 years ago from Central Texas Author

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


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ElliCee 2 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.


superich 2 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.


William 2 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


Diane Gollinger 2 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???


Tina 2 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.


crickett 2 years ago

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


mnoble 2 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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KCC Big Country 2 years ago from Central Texas Author

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

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


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KCC Big Country 2 years ago from Central Texas Author

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 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


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KCC Big Country 2 years ago from Central Texas Author

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


Tammye 22 months 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.


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KCC Big Country 22 months ago from Central Texas Author

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


Tami 22 months 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.


Greg Smith 20 months 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. ;)


Chris 19 months 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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KCC Big Country 19 months ago from Central Texas Author

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


Preston 18 months 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!


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KCC Big Country 18 months ago from Central Texas Author

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


Kristi 15 months 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! :)


Sue 13 months 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!!!!!


Amanda 13 months 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..


Romy 11 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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KCC Big Country 11 months ago from Central Texas Author

Glad I could help! LOL


kataline 9 months ago

thanks for this wonderful explanation

loved it


JackieR 7 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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KCC Big Country 7 months ago from Central Texas Author

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. :)


Chris 5 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!


Dan 5 months ago

you wear a topnoggan, and ride a tobaggan

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