There’s a very large movement happening. And it’s whipping a word from the face of the planet. Okay, maybe not the planet, but at least Saskatchewan. It’s been a part of Saskatchewan lingo for decades. People from Alberta and Manitoba can identify someone from Saskatchewan easily when this word is used, and they think we’re weird. I’ve mentioned this word to a few people in the States, who have either given me the odd look, or said “Are you weird?” without hesitation.
The word is bunny hug.
The roots of the word are lost in time. Most everyone has forgotten when or where it originated. Some say it’s most common usage began in the small city of Melfort and spread from there. Others say it started around Swift Current. But as time went on, the word became synonymous with an article of clothing. To the rest of the world that particular article was known as a hoodie or a hooded sweatshirt.
To most everyone in Saskatchewan we called them bunny hugs.
Why? Even that explanation is lost to time. It’s one of those things that always was. It was always called a bunny hug. I grew up ordering high school bunny hugs. Even on the order form that we took home to check off what apparel we wanted, there in bold letters was bunny hug, sitting right along side leather jacket, bomber jacket, sweat shirt and cap. Others say there was a popular brand of hooded sweatshirts that were called Bunny Hug. So the name stuck. It was kind of like Vico. Everyone in Saskatchewan at one time knew Vico meant chocolate milk.
It is with some dismay that I’ll flip through the Star Phoenix and see that ads for clothing shops are giving in to the rest of the world. Gone is the familiar word that describes the warm, fleece article of clothing. In comparison, the word hoodie is cold and sterile. Bunny hug promotes a warm feeling, a feeling that when you put on the clothing, you’re stepping into a warm hug. It’s comforting. It’s familiar. It’s love in an everyday item.
There are those that I’ve met that are not familiar with the Saskatchewan term that have begun using it in everyday language. They find the term quaint, and that’s what it’s really all about. In Saskatchewan, we should take pride in the word.
The Bunny Hug has another usage. Those familiar with early 20th century dance moves would know the term to refer to the dance that began in San Francisco. Popular at the time, it was one of many dance steps that had an interesting term attached to it.
Here, it means a hoodie. And it’s time to bring that term back into full swing, because we can’t lose that part of our history. Each region has some term to describe something. If we lose it, we lose a part of ourselves. We become sterile, bland. Not unique. One University of Saskatchewan English student even went so far to dedicate a thesis to the term, in digging up the origins of the term bunny hug.
For me, bunny hug will be there until the day I die. Right along with stubble jumper, double double, and back 40.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
Through out the day today I have been messaging Tim through G-chat and MSN.
Little does he know I’m hijacking the post right now.
Because it’s a damn HOODIE.
Keep it real and rockin’