Toboggan or not Toboggan…

Word Fun: Issue No. 2

You organize a yard sale for some friends in the neighborhood.  Saturday rolls around and a couple of your neighbors bring their stuff to sell.  Missy brings her things by and arranges it on the table.  Hubert, another neighbor, reads Missy’s sign saying “Hair Dillies – 50¢ each.”
“Huh?” Hubert says with furrowed brow, followed by a shrug.  He puts his item on the table next to the hair dillies and scrawls out a sign saying “Toboggan – $2”.  A bit later, your other neighbor, Nancy, comes over and gives Hubert’s sign a look of incredulity.  She crosses out Hubert’s sign with a large black marker and writes, “Tuke – $2”.

In this scenario, what is a toboggan, a tuke, and a hair dilly?  Extra credit if you can guess approximately where these neighbors of yours are from.



  1. MK said,

    July 10, 2009 at 4:43 am

    I think I know at least one of the answers without looking it up, but am I supposed to post, or email privately?

  2. t.ed of Jersey said,

    July 12, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Oh, damn, I can’t use a hair dillie, but for two bucks a tuke! Shit JP, why didn’t you tell me.

  3. ryan said,

    July 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I think the tuke would sell better in the winter. Anita and I don’t wear ours much in the summer, though I suppose it is currently winter where they are from. Don’t know about a hair dillie, but that sounds like a goofy pom speaking.

  4. t.ed of Jersey said,

    July 22, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I punched in hair dillies into the internet and now i know what one is. Totally not something I could use. But what I was wondering is, why is it that I need a pair of pants to be fully clothed? And since your the most cunning linguist I know I figured this was a great forum to ask. Thanks.

  5. Mom said,

    July 23, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks for using your aunt’s name in your blog–a little touch of family. I thought a toboggan was a kind of sled, but that’s perhaps a different spelling–too lazy to look it up. If a dillie is a fancy rubber band or comb for holding hair in place, I’m sure Missy has several lying around. I have absolutely no thoughts on the “tuke.”

  6. thedialect said,

    September 21, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Sorry for the belated Answers and Scores!

    Congrats to Ryan and Mom! And also to everyone who knew the answer but their post was too ciphered to know that they knew it. Check the ‘Score Board for latest your standing among Dialect pop-linguists.

    A toboggan and a tuke are the same thing: what most people call a “knit cap,” a “stocking cap,” or perhaps a “beanie”. Ryan, is the term from South America?

    A hair dilly is simply a hair tie or possibly a ‘scrunchy.’

    The term toboggan for a knit cap comes from Georgia and is the only available word in some circles, evidently, and I got the term tuke from a Canadian of unknown provincial origin. Hair dilly comes from a Texan.

    As for T.ed’s question on a pair of pants, I don’t yet know the answer to this riddle but I will endeavor to find it. Look out for Word Fun: Issue No. 3 Soon!

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