Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes Appalachian Dialect

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Toboggans

I can hear Granny in my head telling me not to go out in the cold wind unless I put a toboggan on first. Cause toboggans go on your head right?

I grew up calling a crocheted, knitted, or woven hat a toboggan. I’m not sure what else you would call it-maybe you could call it a hat-but then the word hat makes me think of a baseball cap.

I never gave the word much thought till earlier this week Appalachian Writer, Ceila Miles, emailed me and asked me about the word:

Would you “run this by” your readers? In one of my stories I used the word “toboggan” meaning a head covering, a kind of knitted cap often with a little pom-pom on top. For some reason the word looked strange to me so I checked my Webster’s and found only a definition for a sled. I checked my Random House Dictionary of the English Language: Unabridged Edition (plus two other heavy-weights) and found the same thing. Didn’t find it in Southern Mountain Speech by Cratis Williams. Yet when I asked around my critique group and a few others, most instantly knew the word to mean a head covering, sometimes shortened to “boggan.” I know I grew up with the word or am I and others imagining it? Thanks for any help. Celia Miles

After reading Celia’s email I googled around and found several folks already talking about the use of the word toboggan. Many folks were like me and grew up wearing a toboggan on their head while others grew up riding a toboggan not wearing one.

A commenter on The English Language & Usage Website figured the term had originally been toboggan hat/cap-meaning a type of hat you wore when you were riding a toboggan with the hat/cap part being dropped over the years leaving the word toboggan to mean a type of warm hat.

So how about you-do you ride on a toboggan or wear one on your head?


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    October 19, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Wow, just look at all of the comments!
    SW Pennsylvania here – I wore a toboggan (pronounced taboggin to boggin) and we rode sleds or went sleddin.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2021 at 6:54 am

    This is fascinating. I was looking up if people in North Dakota call wooden sleds “toboggans” like we do in Canada (not all sleds are toboggans, but all toboggans are sleds, lol)… and what do I find out?

    The answer to my lifelong question of: “what do Americans call toques?” LOL!

    I always figured there had to be something y’all were calling them other than “hats” (“hats” always makes me think of bucket hats and baseball caps) but I never would’ve in a million years ever guessed it would be “toboggan!” LOL I can’t wait to tell everyone!

    Yeah, we call it a toque (pronounced like “2” with a K on the end)

  • Reply
    December 16, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    From eastern KY and its a boggon to me. Moved to kansas city and no one knew what a boggon is.

  • Reply
    Johnny H
    January 24, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    I was born in union city TN . Not far from Nashville . Dad and mom moved us to south Florida FT. Myers . Then at 15 years old back to TN for my adult life and I was raised to call it toboggan that you wear on your head from my grandmother who was born in TN/KY my whole life and a sled was a sled, glad to know there are many more out there love the south .

  • Reply
    Ronnie L.
    March 14, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I’m from southern West Virginia and a toboggan is what we wore on our heads. We mostly just called them “boggins” though.

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    January 26, 2017 at 12:56 am

    I grew up in one of the southern Ohio counties settled by southerners. We used the word taboggan. We pronounced it tuh-boggan.

  • Reply
    Rosemary Christiansen
    January 25, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    My mother always called the knit caps Tobaggans. Always got strange looks when I’d tell my kids to put on their Tobaggans in public. Loved it!!

  • Reply
    Donna Carter
    December 27, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    I am reading a book by John Ehle. The Winter People. Book 5 of the Land Breakers series. Historical fiction of the Appalachians. The word suggin is used and I think is referring to a hat or cap. I researched it but could not find a definitive meaning. Any thoughts?
    I have gained such a respect for the lives, endurance, and accomplishments of our ancestors.

    • Reply
      Carrie Jordan
      December 16, 2020 at 11:09 am

      In doing research on the word suggin, which was used by my grandmothers in South Alabama area, I found your post. I could find no other references either.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I’m from southwestern WV and we wear toboggans on our heads and use sleds for sledding in winter. My husband is from NE Ohio and he calls them stocking caps.

  • Reply
    November 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    I’m from Ohio. Always wore a taboggan on my head. When I moved to ca I found out its actually a sled. I thought maybe my family was crazy. Glad to know we aren’t the only ones. Beanie had a propeller. Sled was always a sled. Taboggan was a hat! LOL

  • Reply
    Wendell Hobbs
    March 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I am 69 yrs and grew up in NW Fla. Some people call it LA. (Lower Alabama). When I was growing up it was called a “suggin” around here.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2012 at 6:10 am

    That would be lovely, Tipper. Its fun to ride a camel, but I wouldnt dare join in a. Camel race! Theres a big farm near Larnaca with camels, horses, sheep, goats but havent been able to visit it, yet. I rode a camel once while on holiday in Paphos and, I must admit, it was a great experience.
    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

  • Reply
    Chris Crayton
    March 10, 2012 at 7:56 am

    We called them stocking hat or cap. I never heard toboggan until I met Josh. He also calls them sock hats. I love these language posts!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2012 at 11:33 am

    RB-around here it’s usually toe-boggan or ta-boggan : )

  • Reply
    March 9, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Anastasia-I’ve never even seen a camel LOL except on tv : ) But I think I would like to ride one-wouldn’t it be neat if me and you rode one together someday!

  • Reply
    Jessica Puckett
    March 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Yep, we still call them boggins in my house too 🙂

  • Reply
    Delinda Lea
    March 9, 2012 at 10:47 am

    All the time growing up, we called them “boggins.” I’ll never forget when Dad moved us to city of Chicago and folks would look at us funny when we said it. Of course, they looked at us funny when we said alot of things! LOL
    I just discovered your wonderful blog and felt like the mountains were breathing life to my spirit. I can hardly wait to just sit a bit and read some more.
    Delinda Lea

  • Reply
    amy jo phillips
    March 9, 2012 at 9:40 am

    it’s something you wear!!!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 9, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Momma always told me to wear a cap, she said you lose all your heat through your head. However that was before the “hot flashes” came!

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    March 9, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I thought I was the only person who called a knit hat a togoggen. My dad wore a “boggen” all winter and switched to a ball cap come spring. I prefer a ball cap, myself.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I once rode a toboggan in Arosa, Switzerland but hated it! Have you ever ridden a camel, Tipper? This is so much fun! I guess I’m not a mountain girl! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Where I was raised, we RIDE on toboggans, and we call these Stocking Hats, I think because they use to be made in the stocking knit stitch originally.
    Never heard these hats called Toboggans until I moved down south, and they’re pronounced Toe-boggans by most I’ve heard down here.
    How’s it pronounced where you are?
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Billy Propst
    March 8, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I think it must be a North/South thing mostly!! Here in North Carolina, as a kid, I was always told to wear a ‘boggan on my noggin!! Back when I was a kid and we actually got a little snow in the winter, we went sleddin’!!

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    March 8, 2012 at 7:32 am

    From the comments, seems that toboggan is a southern word. I’ve always worn a toboggan here in West Virginia.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 12:22 am

    I grew up in Alabama. I always heard a cold weather head covering called a toboggan. A friend from ND laughed when he moved to Alabama and heard this. In ND all toboggans are sleds. I also heard head coverings called boggans too just as often as toboggan. Interesting comments.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Hi Tipper!
    WE wore stocking hats on our heads and the bigger kids rode on a toboggan. Smaller children had a “sled”. The really large homemade sled that we pulled behind a tractor or truck was the real “toboggan”. What a fun memory.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I usually wear a scarf but when it is really cold and windy, I wear a toboggan over the scarf. lol ~ overkill?

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I know this is LATE but our computer has been sick and I tried and tried to tell Ed Myers how much I liked his story about the southern mountains. Today is first day I could get through! That story was great Ed!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    We always called those hats boggins. Heard that when it is cold that we lose most of our body heat out the top of the head.

  • Reply
    John Reese
    March 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I’m 61 years old and there have always been toboggins or boggins. Some of the new ones are nice but the ones made by Grandma and Mom were always the favorites. I still wear one on cold days. I have less hair now and they are life savers.
    John Reese

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Living in Georgia, I never have had much use for either kind of toboggan. But I always thought it was a sled, even down here in the South…

  • Reply
    Bobby C
    March 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Like Patty, I’ve always heard it pronounced “TOE-boggan”. I’m in North Georgia and I’ve never known another word for it. Don’t think I could bring myself to call it a stocking cap. 🙂
    As usual, I’ve enjoyed this post. Tipper, it seems you keep finding answers to questions I’ve always wondered about. Thanks!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    My dad called them toboggans. He grew up in Kennett Missouri, 4 miles from Arkansas.

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    March 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Toboggans! Yes! Funny, this morning I was putting away children’s books, and one caught my eye called “Toboggan” — a French children’s monthly magazine/book that one of my exchange students brought us a few years ago. I know the French word “toque” is a knitted hat like a toboggan and wonder if there is a connection? {Oh, how I would love a toboggan from your granny!!!}

  • Reply
    John R
    March 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    As a kid, our sled had runners, the toboggan was flat with a curved front, and we wore a stocking hat. Now I almost always hear a plain one called a stocking hat and one with a pom pom called a toboggan. The kids all want the ones with straps called Peruvian beanies now. The beanies I’m familiar with had a propeller on the top.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I have always wore my toboggan on my head and rode a sled in the snow.
    I remember that grandma would tell me that I had better not set foot out of the house without puttin’ a boggan on my head or I would catch a cold!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Plenty of toboggans in New England, but none worn on heads as far as I know. This is a new one on me! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sandy kalvaitis
    March 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I had one of Grannys toboggans or boggans as I have always heard it called but when it was really cold I gave it to a little girl that didn’t have a hat. But I really enjoyed it while I had it.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 8:13 am

    My family always calls them boggins. I’d love to own one made by your granny!

  • Reply
    Paul Certo
    March 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I used to ride toboggans, but my W Va in laws wear ’em on their heads. At any rate, I have heard the word used both ways. A lot of us wore one while riding the other, but up here in NE Ohio,toboggans were the sleds, and the other we called wool hats.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I’ve only ridden a toboggan, but would love to have one for my head:) I’ve always just called it a warm hat:)

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    All through my growing up we always were told to wear our toboggans! To this day Grannie Mandy better not find us without one until spring time.

  • Reply
    Susan Casada
    March 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Even a “big city” girl growing up in Charlotte thinks of a toboggan as a winter hat and not as a sled. I’d love to win a toboggan made by Granny.

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    March 7, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I have never heard it called that before but I asked my mom who came from the north border of Vermont and she had never heard that meaning before either.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    March 7, 2012 at 11:50 am

    For me a Toboggan was a sled, knit cap, watch cap, kerchief were head covers. I crocheted my family in Michigan several caps for against the cold wind and snow days. DeerHats had ear flaps, hunters caps ditto.
    I recently modified my pattern to make ear covers with watch cap that can fold back on warm days. O but we called heads Noggins. Don’t bust your noggin on that cupboard.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Wearing a boggin sure feels good on those cold mornings when I’m a deer huntin’. And we called that
    thing you ride a sled…Ken

  • Reply
    Melissa P (Misplaced Southerner)
    March 7, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I was 16 years old before I ever was able to sled down a hill. Never knew how, so I bellyflopped down head first. I flew down a very long driveway and onto Eagles’ Nest Road in Waynesville (bet you know right where that is, Tipper). Scared the bejeebers out of my poor daddy. He just knew I was gonna get hit by a car.
    I have to admit, though, that I never heard a head covering called a toboggan. Sock cap, stocking cap, knit cap are all terms I’m familiar with. I’ll call mine a toboggan from here on out (‘specially if I win one).

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 11:39 am

    It was always a cap until we moved to Wisconsin. There, only one thing is a tobaggan…a long sled. The caps are called “watch caps.”

  • Reply
    Anonymous Homesteader
    March 7, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Yes, yes, t’boggin for the head to ride on a sled! LOL

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 7, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Tim-Bobsled and Luge the Olympic sledding events, but I’m sure you could wear a Toboggan while participating in either.
    PinnacleCreek-Spell Check doesn’t find a lot of words that us Southerners use every day. All you need to do is click on add to dictionary and it won’t bother you no more.

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    March 7, 2012 at 10:54 am

    They were just “boggins” with us. I had never heard tobaggan,stocking cap,or watch camp until I left home and then I heard them all. I went through a phase where I tried to talk like everybody else but now, I talk like I want to and I’m back to boggins!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 10:48 am

    They were also known as watch caps here-because sailors would wear them when on watch. Sure could use a toboggan this morning. It is 30 degrees and forecast is maybe for snow in next few days.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I wore a “beanie” on my head and rode a “sled” down the hill after a good snow, but I would know you meant a hat and not a sled if you asked me to get your toboggan!
    I’ve also heard sock hat used a lot over the years. My boyfriend calls them toques which I find strange because he’s Southern, not Canadian. 🙂

  • Reply
    Nina Chastain
    March 7, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Yes, toboggan is what we wore on our head, can’t remember having many as I was growing up, but when it was cold, I remember telling my children,” put that boggan on, it will keep you from getting sick “. We were told if you wear a boggan or hat, you will stay warmer . Keep your head warm and your body will stay warmer.I don’t like to see children out in the cold without something on their head, preferably a “boggan”.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    March 7, 2012 at 10:23 am

    we always said boggin — I could use on about now, I’m off to Ireland tomorrow for a visit. I did find this, so guess boggins are uptown now.:
    Old Navy Ladies Womens Boggin Hat Large
    $3.99 used – Bonanza

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Here in East Tennessee we refer to the knit cap as a taboggan and we always rode a sled.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 10:08 am

    remember… aargh- not rememeber,,,,

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 10:07 am

    growing up in Missouri and Oklahoma we always said stocking cap or watch cap- and my children growing up in Nebraska have always said the same- a toboggan was a sled- an old fashioned wooden one-
    we also only said tennis shoes and soda – never said sneakers or pop- and I rememeber going to Kentucky and being asked what kind of “COKE” we wanted – great confusion reigned until they explained all soda was called coke- I don’t know if that was just particular to that one area-

  • Reply
    Darlene LaRoche
    March 7, 2012 at 9:38 am

    We always wore a toboggan hat as kids… 🙂 We used a sled to go down the hill…have a great day!

  • Reply
    Tim Cuthbertson
    March 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I grew up in Georgia and Alabama and never heard the wool cap called a toboggan until I heard my wife’s family say it. They are from north Alabama. To me, a toboggan was always a kind of sled.
    I think the confusion may have originally occurred because that kind of cap was frequently worn by people playing on the sled, out in the cold weather. Maybe it was referred to as a “toboggan cap”, then was later just shortened to toboggan. I am just guessing, of course.
    Also, isn’t there a Winter Olympics sledding event called the toboggan?

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    March 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I ran into this same problem a few years back when lookin’ up the spelling of the word toboggan…
    We always said toboggan…I always thought in the “Great Wild Cold North” that toboggan was a funny name for a sled…Somehow I can’t imagine a four man team ridin’ down a bobsled shute in a crocheted toboggan!! LOL
    Sooo, we just keep callin’ our knitted or crocheted hats ‘noggin covers…or toboggans…
    Great Post as usual Tipper!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 9:34 am

    It has always been “boggan” to me, although spell check tries to let me know its not a word. I had read of Toboggan sleds as I was once an avid reader. We Blind Pig readers have learned to love Granny, so would love a crocheted boggan. Sure hope those old teased hairdos never again become the style, because that almost eliminated the boggin as as headgear for ladies.

  • Reply
    tony foster
    March 7, 2012 at 9:29 am

    great post. now maybe my wife from the land of fruits and nuts, california that is, will believe that a “toboggin” is indeed something one wears on one’s head!

  • Reply
    Laura Cunningham
    March 7, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Here in north Texas we don’t really get much snow but if we did we would love to go sledding. If its cold I do like to wear a toboggan. Of course we didn’t even get ice this winter. It was a very mild winter and I didn’t get many chances to wear my red toboggan.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Toboggan is good by me, but when I lived in the northeast and Canada, they were “toques”. Most of my family in the south called them “stocking caps”. I guess the difference is wheither the intent is to be technically correct or to be understood by whom ever you are communicating with.

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    March 7, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I wore a toe-boggon (that’s how I’ve heard it pronouned) many times in my life. My mom has knitted a few too. Good to hear that ya’ll came thru safe in that storm last week. I was thinking of you. A friend of ours from here was visiting her mom and dad there and they had some damage.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    March 7, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I never knew it had other names until I was pert nigh grown. It was always just a boggin to me. I have heard knit hat,sock hat,watch hat and beanie used in reference to the toboggan. I have three but my favorite is an old Carhartt that is just a good fit. It will always be just a boggin to me!
    Ron Banks

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    March 7, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Definitely “Wore” the toboggan’s we had.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 7, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Toboggan and boggin, heard it all my life. Like Ed, pronounced with emphasis on the ‘to’ as if it were spelled toeboggan….like the toe on your foot.
    Is this another of our southern words the rest of the world never heard of?
    I would not think it came from ‘toboggan’ the sled for two reasons one the pronunciation of the sled places emphasis on the ‘boggan’ and second we called a sled a sled. I never heard of a toboggan sled till winter sports came on TV.
    I’m really curious, now, about the etymology of our word.
    Now lets talk about Grannie’s crocheting. Grannie can crochet anything! She makes hats, caps, and toboggans. She makes sweaters, afghans, bedspreads, purses, and scarfs.
    I found a cute red crocheted hat at a local thrift store. It was a design I’d never seen Grannie make. I bought it and sent it to her. Then I forgot about it. A few weeks later she sent me a purple hat made just like the red one. She is remarkable….Grannie can crochet anything!

  • Reply
    Carol Killian
    March 7, 2012 at 8:46 am

    We definitely wear toboggans(boggans) in mddle TN. I would enjoy winning one Granny made!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I had never heard it used in reference to a hat until I met my wife. All of her people mean hat when they say toboggan. I heard it in TN when we lived there too. We just called it a winter hat…there was only one type so everyone knew what you meant

  • Reply
    Ken Kuhlmann
    March 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

    They were always called “stocking hats” here in Nebraska. A toboggan was a sled that had no runners so it would go in deep soft snow.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

    We always called the warm thing worn on one’s head a boggin. Never heard a sled called a toboggan. I wonder if the word ‘noggin’ (head) and boggin were somehow derived from the same meaning…

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    March 7, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I know that toboggan is used for a head covering and also as a sled. I have a bright orange double layered baclava, that is to me a modified toboggan, but is extra warm when the cold wind blows.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I don’t wear anything on my head – it aggravates me. If I did wear something on my head I would call it a tobaggan.

  • Reply
    Wanda in NoAla
    March 7, 2012 at 8:13 am

    My parents called them toboggans, but somewhere along the way, we shortened the name to boggan.
    That is what we call them now.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Since we seldom get enough snow to slide on,we never heard of a toboggan used as a sled. When it does get very cold we do put a toboggan on our heads.

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    March 7, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I wore a toboggan all the time when I was younger on the farm and it sure felt good to have one on when I had to go to the back barn to put out hay for the cows, but when I got older it got so I couldn’t find one big enough to go down over my ears because my head gotten too big, I can very seldom even find a cap to fit.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Yes! We wore those toboggans! I just love the subjects/words you come up with that trigger instant memories and warm fuzzy feelings. Lately I’ve heard them called sock hats…but they are toboggans to me. I would love one your granny made!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Growing up here in frigid NE Ohio, we rode toboggans (sleds long enough for several people to ride at once)in the winter. But many of us wore toboggan hats too – these were hats in a long triangle shape, so that there’s a ‘tail’ that falls from the crown of the head down the back, usually ending with a tassel.
    If I had a dime for every time Mom scolded me to put on a hat before going out, I’d treat you all to lunch!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I wear a tobaggan and we use a sled in the winter.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 7:47 am

    If i wore a toboggan as I know it on my head, I’d look pretty silly! 🙂 Isn’t it funny how we use our language so differently in different parts of the country! These comments are all so interesting!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    March 7, 2012 at 7:42 am

    When I first saw the title, my mind went immediately to sled, but as soon as I saw the picture, I knew exactly what you are talking about. I wore a toboggan all my growing up years and through college, but came to Palm Beach County, FL in 1978, and haven’t worn one since except on travel.
    I think Navy guys would call them watch caps (without the pom-poms, of course).

  • Reply
    Celia Miles
    March 7, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Yessss…the hard copy usage books may not have it (and I didn’t think to go online) but we have our toboggans or boggins and long may they keep us warm. Thanks for helping validate the term.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

    I would love a toboggan made by Granny, I would definitely wear it on my head. And I would ride on a sled. I don’t think you could get very far riding on a toboggan. LOL

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 7:30 am

    I grew up knowing them to be called boggins. Until I went to Lake Tahoe I thought everyone called them boggins. I got some funny looks when we were getting ready to leave and I said I had to get my boggin and my bag, then I came out with what they called a beanie, I was soooo confused, (only 20 and first time away from my home and family) I still call them boggins, but I am learning to knit “hats”… oh well

  • Reply
    Debby Brown
    March 7, 2012 at 7:27 am

    I always knew it as a hat! Always! then a few years ago I made friends with a family from Canada. You should have seen the look on their faces when I told one of them to make sure and wear a toboggan on their head to keep their head from getting cold! They had ONLY known it as a sled!Why on earth would they wear a sled on their head?!!!! Haha.. That one thing, and finding out that they do not pronounce the letter z as z….but as “zed” has been such an eye opener to me!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 7:21 am

    I remember leaving the house for school one cold morning when I was a young boy. I usually walked with two neighbor girls who were older than me. I didn’t have a hat on that day and one of the girls said something about it. My mom said “he lost his toboggan.” One of the girls looked at me and said, “you lost your sled?”

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 7, 2012 at 7:19 am

    I never heard it called toboggan. We called it a knitted cap, but i can see the relationship between ‘stocking cap and toe-boggon, and it seems to me that if you were actually making one it would consist of the toe of a sock with a band. Just a thought

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    March 7, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I have heard Granny Shipman call a ‘sock hat’ a toboggan.

  • Reply
    Sandy Satterfield
    March 7, 2012 at 7:02 am

    wore a toboggan-in snow we used a sled.

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    March 7, 2012 at 6:45 am

    I never heard of toboggan as a hat until I moved down South. But then I also referred to tennis shoes as “sneakers” until we moved down here and thought everyone else did, too!
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    March 7, 2012 at 6:45 am

    YES!!! I grew up wearing a boggin on my head. My husband and I (good naturedly) fight about it all the time. He calls it a stocking cap. I say you don’t wear panty hose on your head!

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    March 7, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Growing up in east Tennessee, I wore toboggans. That got me into a lot of linguistic trouble when I immigrated to Canada!

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    Nancy M.
    March 7, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I always used it for something to wear on your head. Then one day I heard someone refer to it as something to ride on, like a sled. I thought they were wrong, lol!

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    Don Casada
    March 7, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Yesterday morning, when I was taking off for an all-day outing, I saw six or eight people getting a little exercise walking on the lower end of Deep Creek. Every one of them – male and female – but two (older fellers, like me) had on toboggans. And yes, that’s the word I’ve always heard used for them.
    I was aware of the use of the term for a sled, but didn’t know exactly what kind of sled until I just looked it up.

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    Ed Ammons
    March 7, 2012 at 5:48 am

    I’ve heard it pronounced toe-boggin, boggin and bauggin. Now you tell me there’s a sled on my head. So when I can’t find mine I gotta go through the house asking, “have you seen that Carolina blue headwear thingy that I can pull down over my ears or put a cuff in the bottom of?” Well that ain’t happenin. It’s still gonna be “seen my boggin?”.

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