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Note that the word toboggan is spelled with a single b and a double g.

Toboggan can be used as a noun or as a verb:

  • John borrowed my children’s toboggan.
  • Marissa tobogganed down the hill several times.
  • We like to go tobogganing in winter.

Word origin

Indigenous people first built these long, flat-bottomed wooden sleds to transport goods during the harsh Canadian winters. Although many Indigenous groups used this type of sled, the word comes most probably from Maliseet ’tapakon or Mi’kmaq topagan.

In the early nineteenth century, French Canadians borrowed the word and spelled it "tabaganne." The word passed into English from French about 1820, with a spelling change.