tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Explorations in the Apocryphal Spelling of Tuque

Friends, nothing is dearer to this blog than the sanctity of its allonym. So consider us being true to our own self if we stick to our tuque and pan its increasingly common yet wholly unaccredited, malapropistic alternate spelling: touque.

It hit a little close to home this past Christmas.

Christmas gift to the Tuque Souq: Love the mug; loathe the spelling

Alas, alas. It's one thing to be some blogger with an innocent orthographic handicap (like this tumblr blog devoted to the "touque") or this guy with a bug up his arse about "toques."[1]

But if you're going to plant copy on a mug[2], please call us before going to press. At no extra charge, we'll tell you: It's a tuque.

Notwithstanding the Urban Dictionary's sparkling third definition of touque -- "an uncircumcised penis" -- the only legitimate use of the "touque" spelling concerns any reference to the Touque family, a noble Kentish lineage of merry old England with an ancestry stretching to the Norman Conquest.

Touques can wear touques -- that's their English business. And if they're chefs they might don toques. But we wear tuques, especially when drinking our coffee on a cold winter's morn.

[1] Bug or no bug, it's still our second-most read blog post of all time, after this one
[2] Support local artists, like the woman who made this mug, who does some lovely work, all kidding aside

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