Tuesday, December 07, 2010

is that a toboggan on your head?

When I woke up yesterday morning, there was a light dusting of snow on the ground. Blades of grass were still visible poking through the snow and both the roads and sidewalks were clear and dry. This morning, I woke up to this:
(the picture would be brighter if it wasn't taken through the window...but i didn't want to go outside)

(much more peaceful to look out back than out front)
And it is still snowing.  I guess this means that winter is really here. 

Speaking of winter, I saw the following statement on a popular blog: "Also picked up a new toboggan at Old Navy for $4! I really needed something that covered my ears and didn’t itch for our trips to Boston and Montana. Problem solved!" This was followed by a picture of her in a toque (or knitted cap for you non-canadians). As I read the statement, I first thought "I had no idea Old Navy sold toboggans...and $4?!?! you can't buy a sled for $4! itchy ears? whaaa?"  I saw the picture and laughed a bit. Who is this crazy southerner thinking she has a toboggan on her head?

Then, I read the comments. Apparently in the American south, people wear toboggans on their heads. Now, I hate to go all north vs south on people here, but since the word toboggan is apparently rooted in the Algonquin language and has come to the English language via the French Canadians...I feel like the North has to pull some rank here and say that we are right and the south is wrong. There was clearly some sort of "lost in translation" error that took place many years ago that got all you southerners confused. Either that or some northerner, jealous that you didn't actually have to deal with toques or toboggans very often, decided to play a trick on you and it has stuck.

As people who come from a place where we can wear a toque and use a toboggan almost 8 months a year, I think we northerners know what we're talking about: toboggan = sled/sleigh/j-shaped wooden platform on which you cheat death going down a steep snow-covered hill. Sure, you can carry it OVER your head, but it does not actually go ON your head.

Any strange regional terms that you use that you know mean different things elsewhere? And does anyone want to come over and help me shovel out my car? (because that little black golf in the first picture is ours)


Lulu said...

LOLOL, I thought the exact same thing when I read that.... silly southerner

Heather said...

I was just confused! But then again, we wear "toh-kays" so it's all good.

Derek said...

Thanks for letting a southerner know, however, its been a toboggan to me for almost 30 years, i think i'll just pretend like i didn't learn that i was wrong and go about in my blissful ignorance

Anonymous said...

Toboggan can also mean an old couch with 2 sets of skis strapped to the bottom of it....as seen in the back of a pickup at the pub on friday night!

I wanted to borrow it and hit suicide hill.


Sarah for Real said...

Hahaha, I remember reading that post on KERF and thinking the same thing.

I'm from Washington State and we call it a "beanie" which probably has no literary background to it either... maybe because it makes your head look like a bean?

I think you are totally right that the southerners don't understand cold weather, snow, or anything related and are just sadly confused.

To be fair, us northerners apparently don't understand "barbeque" either.