What’s that hat called?

Ski masks are called balaclavas.

Robin Hood is commonly depicted wearing a bycocket.

Napoleon is commonly depicted wearing a bicorne.

Pilgrims are commonly depicted wearing capotains.

Keystone cops wore custodian helmets.

Sherlock Holmes is commonly depicted wearing a deerstalker.

The newsy hat has like 8 names, ranging from apple cap, to baker boy, to gatsby.

That poofy fuzzy Chassidic Jew hat is called a shtreimel (plural is shtreimlech).

Graduates wear mortarboards.

The Smurfs wear Phrygian caps, which the Ancient Romans gave to freed slaves.

Those white safari hats are called pith helmets.

Santa Claus is commonly depicted wearing a stocking cop.

Those fuzzy Russian hats are called ushankas, and they became ubiquitous because the government used to give them to workers for free.

Those red skullcaps worn by Catholic priests are called zucchettos.

The triangular Vietnamese hat is called a nón lá (leaf hat).


Join the Conversation


    1. I deliberated quite hard about rice hats, but I couldn’t find a definitive English name for them that wasn’t stupid or racist. So I just threw up the Vietnamese name for them and called it a day.


  1. So, a note on Spanish words for things that go on your head. These words are less esoteric than many of the words that you’ve covered. A “sombrero” in English is a traditional Mexican hat. However, “sombrero” in Spanish is just a hat of any kind. Also, there’s “gorro,” which I would translate as “cap.” I think of “gorro” as either a close-fitting cap for cold weather or a baseball cap. And there’s “cachucha,” which means hat or cap in Mexico. Additionally, there’s “casco,” which means helmet. Also, there’s “corona,” which means crown. And a “tiara” is Spanish for “tiara-” I think the word comes from Spanish in the first place. And that’s all I know!


    1. Huh. Good to know. Now to find out if there’s a more specific way Mexicans would label the hat we call a sombrero. I would bet a Mexican who says sombrero is rarely talking about those in this day and age.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: