Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Calottistes, or Regiment de la Calotte, a club of wits in Paris during the first half of the eighteenth century. The story is that in 1702 some young officers were one day ridiculing various noted persons, when one of the company who had a headache excused himself on the ground that he "was wearing a cap (calotte) of lead." "Who has not some cap to turn his brain?" replied another, and on this suggestion a society was formed with military titles, which used to send mock commissions, often couched in extremely free language, to various distinguished people, admitting them to the "Regiment of the Calotte" on the ground of some alleged folly or eccentricity. The Regent, Louis XV., and Voltaire were among the recipients. The regiment lasted for about half a century, and then died out, but an imitation of it has existed at various times in the French army, in the shape of a kind of court of honour, more or less recognised by the authorities, among the officers of various regiments. The word is also used for the small skull cap worn by priests, and may have sometimes covered a contemptuous allusion to the priesthood.