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When is the knitted hat a Beanie or is it a Toque?.
In Canada a toque was always known as the above mentioned beanie. It is a close fitting knitted hat which can be pulled down over the ears to cover as much skin as possible from the cold and wind. The fancy toques have a ‘pom-pom’ is attached on the top which joyfully bounces when walking.
Canadians have been saying ‘toque‘ as everyone gets it. Recently we have been challenged with this name as no one seems to know what we speak of never mind how to pronounce or spell it. Digging around for its origins, we seem to have embraced it from France dating back from the 1200’s to the 1500’s. The many French–Canadians settling here in the 1500 & 1600’s, ‘un touque‘ was a lifesaver in the extreme cold temperatures during long winter months.
The best way to pronounce is as as a long, sounding #2 and ‘k’ sound and a silent ‘e’ ‘two-ke’ or better yet, say ‘Luke’ but with using a T instead of an L.
Quote from Wikipedia “Now it is primarily known as the traditional headgear for professional cooks, except in Canada where the term is primarily used for kit caps.” CBC has some great pics on their take of toque, tuque or touque and check out CBC‘s voters results on the pronunciation of toque.