Here in south Ontario, until today, we have been having such an abnormally mild winter season (above freezing, woohoo!) we haven’t needed to dig out the heavy-hitter regarding the Canadian cold weather garb armamentarium (cool term, eh?): the toque. Today, if you should be not Canadian, really the only expertise you’ve got with this particular term is for this piece of headgear:
and you’ll be wondering the reason why on the planet we’d wear one in the wintertime! If you have a higher knowledge of historic headdresses, you may even be familiar with this:
but right now you decide that we Canadians are seriously wacko. Although toque a lot beloved to us is neither of the, and neither is it pronounced “toke” like those above (so beware, some of you non-Canadians requesting one in a store!). It rhymes with “kook” and looks like this:charming Canadian family members wearing toques (3)
Why is our pronunciation so out of line aided by the spelling? This piece of headgear is something we borrowed from French Canadians, just who call it a “tuque” (and also this should indeed be an alternate spelling associated with the word in Canadian English). The French term comes finally from a really old pre-Roman term definition “hill” or “gourd” which stayed alive in a few French dialects and was brought to united states. It really is probably due to the similarity in form between a hill and also the knitted cap your term was adopted for the existing usage. English Canadians, though, while grateful that their ears had been now warm, never ever having heard of term “tuque” before, believed it must indeed function as the comparable hat-related term “toque” (which comes from an Italian title for a type of silk textile).
When you’re Canadian, you have no difficulty with a sentence like “They were clothed like loggers, in toques and boots”. However, if you are from somewhere else and therefore sentence elicits strange pictures of lumberjacks wearing cook’s caps or, like the Monty Python tune, dressing in women’s garments, now you can set your brain relaxed.