Toques were popular from the 13th to the 16th century in Europe, especially France. The mode was revived in the 1930s. Now it is primarily known as the traditional headgear for professional cooks, except in Canada where the term toque is primarily used for knit caps.
The word toque has been known in English since around 1500. It is a loan word from the French toque (15th century), presumably by the way of the Spanish toca 'woman's headdress', from Arabic *taqa طاقة, itself from Old Persian taq 'veil, shawl'.
History and usesEdit
A tall, black toque made of silk or velvet, often ornamented with an aigrette, was fashionable among the Spanish nobility during the 1500s. This style is seen in a 1584 portrait of Isabella Clara Eugenia as well as Sofonisba Anguissola's 1573 portrait of Philip II of Spain, both in the Museo del Prado. The style spread across Europe, being adopted in France, England, Germany, and Italy. The toque diminished in popularity in the 1600s as wide-brimmed and cocked hats became fashionable, but reappeared as a predominantly young women's fashion in the 1800s, accompanying long dresses and chignon hairstyles.
The toque most likely originated as the result of the gradual evolution of head coverings worn by cooks throughout the centuries. Their roots are sometimes traced to the casque à meche (stocking cap) worn by 18th-century French chefs. The colour of the casque à meche denoted the rank of the wearer. Boucher, the personal chef of the French statesman Talleyrand, was the first to insist on white toques for sanitary reasons.
- A toque, or sometimes touge, was the traditional headgear of various French magistrates.
- A low type in black velvet, called mortier (also rendered in English as mortarboard), was used by the président à mortier, president of a parlement (the royal highest court in a French province), and of the members of two of the highest central courts, cour de cassation and cour des comptes.
- A red toque is sometimes worn by German judges, primarily by justices on the Federal Constitutional Court.
In the Napoleonic era, the French first empire replaced the coronets of traditional ("royal") heraldry with a rigorously standardized system (as other respects of "Napoleonic" coats of arms) of toques, reflecting the rank of the bearer. Thus a Napoleonic duke used a toque with seven ostrich feathers and three lambrequins, a count a toque with five feathers and two lambrequins, a baron three feathers and one lambrequin, a knight only one ostrich feather (see Nobility of the First French Empire).
In Canada, tuque // is the common name for a knitted winter hat, or watch cap (sometimes called a beanie in other parts of the world); the spelling touque, although not recognized by the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, is also sometimes seen in written English. The Canadian-English term was assimilated from Canadian-French word tuque, and first appeared in writing around 1870.
The fashion is said to have originated with the coureurs de bois, French and Métis fur traders, who kept their woollen nightcaps on for warmth during cold winter days. Such hats are known in other English-speaking countries by a variety of names, including beanie, watch cap or stocking cap; the terms tuque and toque are unique to Canada and northern areas of the United States close to the Canada–United States border.
In 2013, CBC Edmonton launched a poll to ask viewers how they spelled the word. The options given were toque, tuque or touque. Nearly 6,500 people voted, with Edmontonians remaining divided on the issue.
In recent years knit toques have resurfaced as an extremely popular fashion item, they are used all year round seen not only used outdoor for weather but as an indoor fashion accessory. Many tuques are used to promote or advertise as items of Canadian memorabilia i.e. Canadian NHL hockey teams, Canadian provinces and cities and many more popular culture artifacts.
- "the definition of toque". Dictionary.com.
- "Definition of Toque". Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- Harper, Douglas. "toque". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
- Chico, Beverly (2013). "Toque". Hats and Headwear Around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 449–451. ISBN 978-1-6106-9063-8.
- "Definitions for: Toque". Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- Bedell, Jane (2013). So, You Want to Be a Chef?: How to Get Started in the World of Culinary Arts. Simon & Schuster. p. 69. ISBN 978-1582704364.
- Engber, Daniel (28 March 2014). "Who Made That Chef's Toque?" – via NYTimes.com.
- "Thousands vote on correct spelling of Canadian knit cap". CBC News. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- "toque" and "tuque" in Katherine Barber, ed. (2004), The Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2nd ed.), Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-541816-6.
- "tuque" at Dictionary.com.
- "toque" and "tuque" at Merriam–Webster Online.
- Dec 09, CBC News · Posted; December 10, 2013 9:38 PM MT | Last Updated; 2013. "Thousands vote on correct spelling of Canadian knit cap | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 26 March 2019.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
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