With the grand-opening date of our very own Roots store near on the horizon, we’ve had one word on the brain: bunnyhug.
Say it outside of Saskatchewan and you’re likely to garner some confused reactions. “A what?” people will ask, looking at you as if you’re crazy. While to the rest of Canada, we might seem like aliens learning Earth culture, we know they’re the crazy ones. As Saskatchewanians, we can lay claim to having the most creative, unique and, let’s face it, correct name for what everyone else calls a “hoodie” — how original.
But how did this unique moniker come to be? Unfortunately, it’s difficult to say for certain. Many have posted to forums across the World Wide Web to little absolute conclusion. Here are a few of the theories floating out in the world.
One rather unfortunate theory (for the bunnies, at least) comes from the quelling of bunny overpopulation in Saskatchewan’s past. We’re all familiar with the tale of Peter Rabbit and what kind of damage our furry friends can make on a garden of veg, so you can imagine what happened next. In the end, farmers made full use of the bunny pelts, fashioning them into a garment resembling the bunnyhug as we know it today.
Muffs were an important fashion accessory during Saskatchewan winters from the 1920’s to the 50’s. Often made of rabbit fur, this practice was adopted for the hooded sweatshirt when it began hopping up – see what we did there – after the 50’s. During this time, the front pocket was sometimes lined with fur too.
Literally. One theory links the name to a “hugging” motion made by the wearer when adjusting the sweater on the body. Can’t say we’ve had this particular experience, but it’s on the Internet, so there must be some truth to it. At the very least, no one can argue that the perfect bunnyhug does, in fact, feel like a warm hug.
Probably the most popular of the theories out there, the bunnyhug is said to have earned its namesake from the popular dance move of the same name. Back in 2007, Tyler Cottenie, a University of Saskatchewan linguistics major, made it his mission to dig up the origins of this beloved term. Part of his digging led him to the Bunny Hug, a sultry dance move from the early 1900’s.
A more likely connection according to Cottenie: The Bunny Hop — a variation on a conga line where participants hugged the waist of the person in front of them.
“That pouch pocket is right where the other person’s hands are,” Cottenie said.
No matter the origin, we’re proud of the Saskatchewanism that is the bunnyhug and we hope it’s a trend that will confuse our provincial neighbours for many years to come.
Stay tuned for more on the great #ItsCalledABunnyhug debate and how you could win your own by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!