I can’t believe I’ve been wearing hats for thirty years and I just now found out about the Hat Dictionary. From agal (“modern Arab head-dress. Consists of a scarf wound around the head and held in place by its own fringes tucked into the roll”—from Arabic ‘iqâl; actually it’s the band that keeps the scarf, or keffiyeh, in position) to zucchetto (“skull-cap worn by Roman Catholic clergy”—from the same Italian root as zucchini, by the way), it’s all here, with many illustrations. I’d double-check anything exotic (given the misunderstanding of agal), but it’s an excellent reference, and I am grateful to Michelle of Random (but not really) for posting it.


  1. I just found from Paul Buell that “baklava” was originally a Mongol word, from the Persian Mongols. Buell translated a Mongol cookbook from the Yuan dynasty Chinese: Soup for the Qan. It includes a leg-of-wolf recipe.
    Farther yet off topic, my brother in Vancouver reports that on Robert Burns day (BC has a strong Scottish presence) the Chinese restaurants serve haggis dim sum.
    Eating offal like haggis is actually a thoroughly Chinese thing to do; whole ships full of guts dock in Taiwan. You don’t get the uterus / tendon / kidney / sweetbread dishes in American-Chinese restaurants unless you ask for them, of course.

  2. Cool! Still no explanation of what on earth kind of headgear Chico César is singing about in his song “Papo Cabeça“, though.
    The definition of “turban” is weak — it’s also the characteristic headdress for many Hindus, as well. They say you can identify the village and caste of a Rajasthani man by how he winds his turban.
    And I’m surprised that they don’t picture a fez.

  3. jean pierre says

    When I was in Kuwait prior and post our the 3rd Infantry Division’s role in Operation Iraqi Freedom, one of the few local products one could buy in the camp PX’s was a choice between the red and white checked or the black and white checked keffiyeh, and a thick looped cord, about a quarter inch in diameter, that one could use to fasten the keffiyeh. What would one call this loop, I wonder?
    By the way, I had asked a couple of the Baghdad locals if the color of the keffiyeh indicated a certain tribe or clan allegiance, and they told me no, it was just personal preference. I am interested to read other interpretations or facts on the topic.

  4. That band is the iqal (Anglicized as “agal,” as in the hat website above). You can see the whole kit and caboodle here.

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