Definition of tam-o'-shanter in US English:



  • A round woolen or cloth cap of Scottish origin, with a pom-pom in the center.

    • ‘He was one of the sport's most refreshing figures, a fellow who honored the game with his throwback attire, knickers and a tam-o'-shanter, a kiss to his Scottish heritage.’
    • ‘A tam-o'-shanter, a link to his Scottish roots, perches on his head.’
    • ‘Hers are a Highlander's dreams: obviously, the tartan plaid and tam-o'-shanter evince his Scottish affinity.’
    • ‘The tam-o'-shanter was a popular cap for boys wearing kilt suits.’
    • ‘Several wore endearingly personalized get-ups, such as a tatted cape and matching tam-o'-shanter.’


Mid 19th century: named after the hero of Burns's poem Tam o' Shanter (1790).