Friday, January 11, 2008

The "Toboggan"

I love my toboggan. It is soft and black and looks really cool when I wear it. With my long hairs, it gives me that Seattle, Grunge look so popular in the 1990s. If I wear dirty jeans and an old T-shirt with it, onlookers sometimes confuse me for someone famous. No one in particular, just someone. Someone hot, I like to think.

Now, some of you may be confused by that sentence: you may be saying to yourself, "You don't wear a toboggan; you ride one!" And you are half-right.

See, I kept losing my toboggan a week or so back and a friend of mine finally had enough and goes, "It's not a "toboggan"! It's just a cap! A toboggan is a sled!"

This confused me because, the moment she said it, I knew she right: a toboggan is a sled. So why the hell was I calling my cap a "toboggan" - where did that come from and why was it stuck in my brain? So I ran home and looked it up online... I was right!

Apparently, this kind of cap was most often worn by tobogganers and thus garnered its nomenclature.

Pretty nifty, huh? It got me to thinking about other words that have a similar relative etymology, such as calling shoes "kicks," and jewelry "bling." Obviously there are more, but I chose these two because, like "toboggan," the slang is based on the verbs associated with the objects: one kicks in shoes and jewelry blings in the light.

Feel free to add more if you can think of any!


American Psychological Association (APA):

toboggan. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved January 11, 2008, from website:

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

toboggan. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. (accessed: January 11, 2008).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

"toboggan." Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 11 Jan. 2008.

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