I accumulate these. Additions to this checklist are welcome. Additionally, notice that in some instances I do not know the origin of a specific expression. When you’ve got information or theories of origin for something under, I might additionally like to listen to from you. I hope you get pleasure from these.
Speaking By means of Your Hat
To speak nonsense or to lie. c1885. [In an interview in The World entitled “How About White Shirts”, a reporter asked a New York streetcar conductor what he thought about efforts to get the conductors to wear white shirts like their counterparts in Chicago. “Dey’re talkin’ tru deir hats” he was quoted as replying.]
Consuming Your Hat
There isn’t any such factor as a certain factor, however that is the place this expression comes from. In the event you inform somebody you may eat your hat in the event that they do one thing, be sure to’re not carrying your greatest hat-just in case. [The expression goes back at least to the reign of Charles II of Great Britain and had something to do with the amorous proclivities of ‘ol Charlie. Apparently they named a goat after him that had his same love of life which included, in the goat’s case, eating hats.]
Outdated, boring stuff; out of style. [This seems to come from the fact that hat fashions are constantly changing. The fact of the matter is that hat fashions had not been changing very fast at all until the turn of the 19th Century. The expression therefore is likely about 100 years old.]
Mad As A Hatter
Completely demented, loopy. [Hatters did, indeed, go mad. They inhaled fumes from the mercury that was part of the process of making felt hats. Not recognizing the violent twitching and derangement as symptoms of a brain disorder, people made fun of affected hat-makers, often treating them as drunkards. In the U.S., the condition was called the “Danbury shakes.” (Danbury, Connecticut, was a hat-making center.) Mercury is no longer used in the felting process: hat-making — and hat-makers — are safe.]
Hat In Hand
An illustration of humility. For instance, “I come hat in hand” implies that I are available in deference or in weak point. [I assume that the origins are from feudal times when serfs or any lower members of feudal society were required to take off their hats in the presence of the lord or monarch (remember the Dr. Seuss book “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins”?). A hat is your most prideful adornment.]
Move The Hat
Actually to go a person’s hat amongst members of an viewers or group as a way for accumulating cash. Additionally to beg or ask for charity. [The origin is self-evident as a man’s hat turned upside down makes a fine container.]
Tight As Dick’s Hat Band
Something that’s too tight. [The Dick in this case is Richard Cromwell, the son of England’s 17th Century “dictator”, Oliver Cromwell. Richard succeeded his dad and wanted to be king but was quickly disposed. The hatband in the phrase refers to the crown he never got to wear.]
Three consecutive successes in a recreation or one other endeavor. For instance, taking three wickets with three successive pitches by a bowler in a recreation of cricket, three objectives or factors received by a participant in a recreation of soccer or ice hockey, and so forth. [From cricket, from the former practice of awarding a hat to a bowler who dismissed three batsmen with three successive balls.]
Within the 19th Century, males who wore derby hats particularly Japanese businessmen and later crooks, gamblers and detectives. [Derby hats, a.k.a. Bowlers or Cokes, were initially very hard as they were developed in 1850 for use by a game warden, horseback rider wanting protection.] At present, “Onerous Hats” are building employees [for obvious reasons].
In One’s Hat, or In Hat
An expression of incredulity. [Origin unknown. Help us if you can]
Throwing A Hat Within the Ring
Coming into a contest or a race e.g. a political run for workplace. [A customer wrote us with the following: “I read in “The Language of American Politics” by William F. Buckley Jr. that the phrase “throw one’s hat in the ring” comes from a practice of 19th Century saloonkeepers putting a boxing ring in the middle of the barroom so that customers who wanted to fight each other would have a place to do so without starting a donnybrook. If a man wanted to indicate that he would fight anybody, he would throw his hat in the ring.
At one point, Theodore Roosevelt declared he was running for office with a speech that included a line that went something like, “My hat is in the ring and I am stripped to the waist”. The phrase “my hat in the ring” stuck, probably because “I am stripped to the waist” is a little gross.]
Hats Off . . .
“Hats off to the U.S. Winter Olympic Staff” for instance. An exclamation of approval or kudos. [Origins must be from the fact that taking one’s hat off or tipping one’s hat is a traditional demonstration of respect.]
A Feather In Your Cap
A particular achievement. [I assume that the origins on this expression hail from the days when, in fact, a feather for one’s cap would be awarded for an accomplishment much like a medal is awarded today and pinned to one’s uniform. A feather, or a pin, add a certain prestige or luster to one’s apparel.]
Maintain On To Your Hat(s)
A warning that some pleasure or hazard is imminent. [When riding horseback or in an open-air early automobile, the exclamation “hold on to your hat” when the horse broke into a gallop or the car took-off was certainly literal.]
Bee In Your Bonnet
A sign of agitation or an thought you could’t let go of and simply have to precise. [A real bee in one’s bonnet certainly precipitates expression.]
Sporting Many Hats
This in fact is a metaphor for having many alternative duties or jobs. [Historically, hats have often been an integral, even necessary, part of a working uniform. A miner, welder, construction worker, undertaker, white-collar worker or banker before the 1960s, chef, farmer, etc. all wear, or wore, a particular hat. Wearing “many hats” or “many different hats” simply means that one has different duties or jobs.]
All Hat and No Cattle
All present and no substance. For instance, in October 2003, Senator Robert Byrd declared that the Bush administration’s declarations that it wished the United Nations as a accomplice in reworking Iraq had been “All Hat and No Cattle”. [This Texas expression refers to men who dress the part of powerful cattlemen, but don’t have the herds back home.]
To Dangle Your Hat (or not)
To decide to one thing (or not), or stake your repute on one thing (or not), like an thought or coverage. For instance “I would not hold my hat on George Steinbrenner’s resolution to fireplace his supervisor.” [Origin unknown. Can anyone help with this one?]
On the Drop of a Hat
Quick. [Dropping a hat, can be a way in which a race can start (instead of a starting gun for example). Also, a hat is an apparel item that can easily become dislodged from its wearer. Anyone who wears hats regularly has experienced the quickness by which a hat can fly off your head.]
To Tip Your Hat or A Tip of the Hat
An endorsement of respect, approval, appreciation, or the like. Instance: “A tip of the hat to American troops for the seize of Saddam Hussein.” [This is simply verbalizing an example of hat etiquette. Men would (and some still do) tip their hat to convey the same message.]
My Hat As an alternative of Myself
That is an expression from Ecuador, residence of the “Panama” hat. It means what’s says; it’s preferable to surrender your hat than your life. [The Guayas River runs via Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest metropolis on the Pacific coast. Individuals from town had been identified to hunt alligators for his or her hides within the river by swimming stark bare carrying Panama hats on their heads and lengthy knives between their tooth. When the reptiles open their jaws and go for the swimmer, he dives leaving his hat floating on the floor for the alligator to chew on whereas he plunges the knife into the animal’s vitals. From THE PANAMA HAT TRAIL by Tom Miller Dad hats.]
I imagine it is a French expression for a foul individual. [Ludwig Bemelmans’ MADELINE series of children’s books, set in France, includes one MADELINE AND THE BAD HAT. In this story Madeline, our heroine, refers to a little boy neighbor as a “bad hat”. She clearly means this as a metaphor for a bad person and because I do not know the expression in English, I assume this is a common French reference. If anyone out there knows more about this, please drop us an email.]
Hat by Hat
Step-by-step. [Nevada Barr’s book SEEKING ENLIGHTENMENT: Hat by Hat means just that. Has anyone heard this expression otherwise? If yes, please email us.]
Conserving One thing Below One’s Hat
Conserving a secret. [People kept important papers and small treasures under their hats. One’s hat was often the first thing put on in the morning and the last thing taken off at night, so literally keeping things under one’s hat was safe keeping. A famous practitioner of this was Abraham Lincoln. The very utilitarian cowboy hat was also commonly used for storage.]
Here is Your Hat, However What’s Your Hurry
When somebody has taken up sufficient of your time and also you need him/her to depart. [Origin unknown.]
Carry His Workplace in His Hat
Working a enterprise on a shoestring. [Important papers and the like were often carried in one’s hat.]
Units Her Cap
A younger woman “units her cap” for a younger man who she hopes to curiosity in marrying her. [Long ago, maidens wore caps indoors because homes were poorly heated. A girl set her most becoming hat on her head when an eligible fellow came to call.]
To place in your “pondering cap” is to present some downside cautious thought. [Teachers and philosophers in the Middle Ages often wore distinctive caps that set them apart from those who had less learning. Caps became regarded as a symbol of education. People put them on (literally or figuratively) to solve their own problems.]
Black Hat . . .
Black hat ways, black hat intentions, and so forth. consult with nefarious actions or designs. [Black hats in Western lore and literature were the bad guys.]
White Hat . . .
Though I do not see or hear this expression as a lot as “Black Hat”, it merely is the other of the above.