A tuque (
Canadian French: "tuque", sometimes also spelled toque or touque in English) is a knitted hat, originally of wool though now often of synthetic fibers, that is designed to provide warmth in winter. All tuques are tapered, they sometimes have ear-flaps, and may be topped with a pom-pon. (This style of tuque is often referred to as a sherpa). Tuques may have a folded brim, or none, and may be worn tightly fitting the skull or loose on top although the latter is considered more standard. The tuque usually is considered Canada's national winter hat, much like the fur hat is in Russia.
The word is not etymologically related to the name of the
chef's toque, although it is sometimes spelled "toque" instead of "tuque" (still pronounced /tuk/) by assimilation, or occasionally "touque" although the latter is a common misspelling and not considered a standard spelling by the " Canadian Oxford Dictionary".
The tuque is similar to the
Phrygian capand, as such, during the 1837 Patriotes Rebellion a red tuque became a symbol of French-Canadian nationalism. The symbol was revived briefly by the Front de libération du Québecin the 1960s. Fact|date=February 2007
Tuques are indispensable in cold climates, and are worn worldwide in various forms. They have become the common headgear for stereotypical dockworkers and sailors in movies and television. The most famous media characters to sport this kind of hat are the "SCTV" characters,
Bob and Doug McKenzie. Michael Nesmithof The Monkeesalso wore this hat in his television series. As did Robert Clothier's character "Relic" in the long-running Canadian TV series, The Beachcombers. Bill Murraywore this type of hat in " The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou", possibly as a parody of the tuque worn by Jacques Cousteau. The guitarist for the Irish band U2, The Edge, is also known for wearing a tuque while performing, or during interviews. Canadian Daniel Powteralso wore a blue tuque during the music video for Bad Day. Jayne Cobb of Firefly (TV series)received a Tuque as a gift from his mother. He dubs it a "cunning hat", and it has become popular among fans.
United States, this type of hat is more commonly referred to by other names: "knit hat" or "knit cap", "sock cap" or "stocking cap", "watch cap", "(to)boggan", "skull cap" , "snow hat", "snow cap", "ski cap", "chook", or "beanie". In Australia, New Zealand, the United Statesand the UK, the term beanierefers almost exclusively to the knitted tuque-style hat, although that word is also used elsewhere to denote a more rigid cap that is not knitted but rather made up of joined panels of felt, twillor other tightly woven cloth. The lack of a consistent term for the tuque, outside Canada, is popular source material for Canadian comedians.
There also is a town known as
La Tuque, Quebec, named after a nearby hill that resembles a tuque.In some sections of Canada a tuque with a brim on it, commonly worn by snowboarders, is nicknamed a bruque (a brimmed tuque).
* Katherine Barber, editor (2004). "Canadian Oxford Dictionary", second edition. Toronto, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-541816-6. — "Toque" is a main headword, "tuque" considered a variant spelling, "touque" does not appear.
* [http://www.webster.com/dictionary/tuque Merriam-Webster states it derives from toque]
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