Easily Confused Words: Toque vs. Toke

Toque and toke are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway.

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It suggests what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions couldn’t be more off base and produces humorous results.

Toque is a noun. It means a hat. Chef’s hats are called toques. But in fashion, many hats with little to no brim and an a deep crown are called toques, especially European ones from the 14th-16th century. In Canada, tuques are knitted winter hats.

Toques can also be worn to indicate status in certain professions.

Toke is a verb. It means to inhale from a marijuana cigarette.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Tori stepped outside and pulled off her toque after a long shift as sous chef at the prestigious High Roller bistro at the hottest casino in Walhalla Heights. She sank against the wall, lit her first cigarette in five hours and took a first toke. She exhaled slowly, looking out on all the twinkling lights of the city around her with exhausted malaise.

This post is related to another one: Toking vs. Token.

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