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Sled, sledge, sleigh and toboggan

A sled is a vehicle or toy used to slide downhill on ice or snow. A sled may have runners or a smooth bottom. Sled is mostly an American and Canadian term, sled may also be used as a verb to mean sliding downhill on ice or snow in a sled. Related words are sleds, sledded and sledding. The word comes from the Middle Dutch word sledde

Sledge is the British term for a vehicle or toy used to slide downhill on ice or snow. This type of sledge may have runners or a smooth bottom. A sledge is also a vehicle with runners used to transport people or loads over ice and snow, often pulled by horses or oxen. Sledge may also be used as a verb to mean sliding downhill on ice or snow on a sledge, or transporting people or loads over ice or snow, often pulled by horses or oxen, a sledge may also be a conveyance mounted on runners used on muddy or rough ground. Related terms are sledges, sledged and sledging. Sledge comes from the Middle Dutch sleedse.

A sleigh is a sled on runners pulled by horses or reindeer used to convey people over ice or snow. Sleigh may also be used as a verb, related words are sleighs, sleighed, sleighing. The word sleigh originated in North America in the early 1700s, from the Dutch word slee.


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A toboggan is a narrow sled, usually made from a lightweight wood, the front of which curves up and backward. Tobaggan comes from the Canadian French tabaganne, which in turn is taken from the Algonquian Maleseet language word thapaken. Toboggan may also be used as a verb, related words are toboggans, tobogganed and tobogganing.

Examples

From duck wings to duck tacos, Blutstein (who grew up in nearby Amagansett), uses local produce, like Balsam Farm cauliflower; he’s known Alex Balsam since he was 12, and remembers nostalgically his sledding days at the nearby Quail Hill Farm. (The Huffington Post)

A group of youths filmed themselves towing a man on a sledge between two fast moving cars in Belarus. (The Mirror)

This year, the BBC is planning a brand new television event to liven up the schedules: a slow and silent sleigh ride through Lapland. (The Telegraph)

American Dream will also, he said, promise same-day delivery of purchases by shoppers who arrive by public transportation, surfing contests at the water park and toboggan rides in the Snow Dome. (The New York Times)

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