Friday, January 22, 2010
While living in Wapakoneta, my brother used the term "toboggan" to describe a knit winter hat
to one of his neighbors. The neighbor had never heard the term used except for a sled. My brother
called me, and said, "You MUST find proof SOMEWHERE that I am right!" Sensing his urgency to be
proved right (a noticeable family trait), I set about my assigned task. After reviewing several sources, I
consulted my trustworthy Merriam-Webster Third International Dictionary (a "free" gift of a 3-volume
dictionary set when I bought my Encyclopedia Brittanica in the 1960's). It not only had the third definition
as a ski-cap, but also an illustration of the TOBOGGAN as a hat! I took the proof with me to Wapakoneta and my brother gleefully called his neighbor on the telephone and said, "Come here, once!" I thought that "Come here, once" was a strange thing to say to the neighbor, but I soon learned that it was a quite common phrase used in the Wapakoneta area and that sometime or another my brother had laughed about it. AHA! Then I understood my brother's need to prove his own colloquialism to be correct!