"toke the wild hair" -- Query

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Thu May 30 20:31:38 UTC 2002

     I've received a query about the expression "toke the wild hair"
and have no idea about its origin or even whether the spelling is
correct. I'm also unclear about its meaning.  Would anyone be
familiar with this?  The two messages appear under my signoff.

Gerald Cohen

(message #1; query)
>An acquaintance who collaborates with me on our family's genealogy,
>has written for about the third time and used the expression "toke
>the wild hair."  Her life has been spent in Louisiana and Texas.
>>From the context she used it - I would guess it means that she
>dropped what she was doing to go off on a tangent to do something
>she wanted to do, away from her ordinary responsibilities.  Never
>heard it elsewhere.  Does it refer to "took the wild hare" by
>chance?  ...

(message #2, responding to my request for more information):
>...In her opening sentence -
>"Linda,   I had forgotten the other day, toke the wild hair, to do some
>research. I went to the library and here is some of the results from
>the search on the Plakes [family]."
>Another letter reminded me that she is from Bourg, LA, southern Louisiana,
>Cajun country, almost on the Gulf Coast, she says, 50 miles from New
>Orleans. Cajun country could certainly be a clue.  Just looked it up.
>It's on the border of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes (counties), maybe
>20-some miles north of the Gulf coast.  I think her heritage before that
>location may have been Texas.
>I know she has used the term in at least one other message, and I think two.
>But I can't find either one of them in the time I have to look.

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