Toboggan: hat or sled?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's that age-old bafflement: the word "toboggan" -- is it a hat or a sled? And how in the world did this noun come to describe two such varied objects? Is it a coincidence that they both have to do with winter?

And I challenge you to present me with another word that serves the function of descriptive noun for two VERY different objects. I cannot think of one.

So which is it to you, a sled or a hat?


  1. I vote hat. I don't know why. I am just as confused.

  2. that is a pretty radical toboggan (hat) picture.

    i always think of the hat because we don't have sleds in texas.

  3. hat all the way.

    i can't think of one either but if anyone can, its you.

    go ltg!

  4. Anonymous4:27 PM

    bat, punch

  5. punch in one sense is a verb and in one sense a noun. denied.

  6. conservatory: 1.) a college for the study of classical music or other arts.
    2.) a room with glass roof and walls, used as a greenhouse or parlor.


  7. my only thing w/conservatory is that they're both spaces, in one sense. but very good, Erin Lee.

    Bat is a candidate too.

  8. Pre-south Kelly would have said sled all the way. After 10 years in the south, when I hear the word I think of a hat. That makes me sad.

  9. I think I lived in Colorado too long, I think of it as a sled. Shoot. Don't tell anyone, they'll revoke my belle card.

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  12. Anonymous2:47 PM

    I am from a middle state, so I have always heard "toboggan" as both a hat and a sled. I recently found out that this is because when tobogganing was a more popular sport, you had a toboggan hat and a toboggan sled. So, the areas of the cold went toward sled, because they have more variety of sleds to distinguish between; and the areas of heat went to hat, because how often would they have to debate over what sled to use?

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