January 26, 2017
Great questions, all of them. Honestly, we were on the fence about it. We've seen it both ways and really, both are commonly accepted spellings of this word. In an instance such as duffle we might speak the word without really ever considering its actual spelling.
You may ask, why all the nitpicking over the spelling of a word? Now, none of us at North St. are linguists, per se, but when creating products and choosing naming conventions we end up throwing our hat into the ring of public opinion and we inevitably take a linguistic stand in our choice of duffle vs. duffel.
Neither choice is wrong, and we're not claiming we're particularly correct, but our choice came down to some research and then our own comfort and gut sense about what felt natural.
For us, it was growing up with a particular spelling and what we were comfortable with. Duffle is an Anglicized version of the word which comes from the Belgian town, Duffel, where a coarse woolen fabric used in coats and blankets originated. This fabric was eventually used to make large gear bags and the term duffel bag was born.
In keeping with the English language tradition to complicate words and create their own standard, duffle eventually became an alternate spelling and was used fairly frequently. That's the version that we grew up with and it somehow made more sense to us when comparing other similar suffixes of words like scuffle, truffle, shuffle, ruffle, kerfuffle just to name a few.
So, we don't mean to be difficult, nor overly opinionated, but we're sticking with duffle and we'll keep on making them here in Portland, Oregon and as always we'll guaranty them for life.
[editor note: that last part was also meant as a joke about the usage of guarantee vs. guaranty. Nerdy to say the least, we know...]