I collect these. Additions to this list are welcome. Also, take note that in some scenarios I never know the origin of a particular expression. If you have expertise or theories of origin for nearly anything underneath, I would also like to listen to from you. I hope you enjoy these.

Chatting Through Your Hat

To chat 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.]

Feeding on Your Hat

There is no this kind of detail as a absolutely sure thing, but which is the place this expression arrives from. If you notify a person you will eat your hat if they do some thing, make sure you might be not putting on your very best hat-just in situation. [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.]

Aged Hat

Outdated, uninteresting things out of style.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

Thoroughly demented, insane. [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

A demonstration of humility. For illustration, “I occur hat in hand” signifies that I arrive in deference or in weak spot. [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.]

Go The Hat

Literally to pass a man’s hat amid members of an audience or group as a signifies for gathering funds. Also to beg or request for charity. [The origin is self-evident as a man’s hat turned upside down makes a fine container.]

Restricted As Dick’s Hat Band

Everything that is way too restricted. [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.]

Hat Trick

A few consecutive successes in a video game or an additional endeavor. For case in point, having three wickets with 3 successive pitches by a bowler in a recreation of cricket, 3 aims or factors gained by a player in a recreation of soccer or ice hockey, etcetera. [From cricket, from the former practice of awarding a hat to a bowler who dismissed three batsmen with three successive balls.]

Tricky Hats

In the 19th Century, gentlemen who wore derby hats specially Jap businessmen and later on 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.] Nowadays, “Hard Hats” are building staff [for obvious reasons].

In One’s Hat, or In Hat

An expression of incredulity. [Origin unknown. Help us if you can]

Throwing A Hat In the Ring

Coming into a contest or a race e.g. a political run for office. [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 season Olympic Group” for case in point. 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 specific accomplishment. [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.]

Keep On To Your Hat(s)

A warning that some exhilaration or danger 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

An indication of agitation or an plan that you cannot permit go of and just have to categorical. [A real bee in one’s bonnet certainly precipitates expression.]

Donning Numerous Hats

This of course is a metaphor for getting several distinctive obligations or positions. [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 exhibit and no substance. For instance, in Oct 2003, Senator Robert Byrd declared that the Bush administration’s declarations that it wished the United Nations as a companion in reworking Iraq were being “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 Hang Your Hat (or not)

To commit to a little something (or not), or stake your track record on a thing (or not), like an idea or plan. For illustration “I would not dangle my hat on George Steinbrenner’s final decision to hearth his supervisor.” [Origin unknown. Can anyone help with this one?]

At 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 Idea of the Hat

An endorsement of regard, acceptance, appreciation, or the like. Case in point: “A tip of the hat to American troops for the capture 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 Alternatively of Myself

This is an expression from Ecuador, home of the “Panama” hat. It means what is suggests it is preferable to give up your hat than your life. [The Guayas River runs through Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city on the Pacific coast. People from the city were known to hunt alligators for their hides in the river by swimming stark naked wearing Panama hats on their heads and long knives between their teeth. When the reptiles open their jaws and go for the swimmer, he dives leaving his hat floating on the surface for the alligator to chew on while he plunges the knife into the animal’s vitals. From THE PANAMA HAT TRAIL by Tom Miller.]

Terrible Hat

I believe this is a French expression for a terrible human being. [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

Stage 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.]

Trying to keep Anything Beneath One’s Hat

Trying to keep a top 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’s Your Hat, But What is Your Hurry

When somebody has taken up enough of your time and you want him/her to depart. [Origin unknown.]

Carry His Business office in His Hat

Running a small business on a shoestring. [Important papers and the like were often carried in one’s hat.]

Sets Her Cap

A youthful lady “sets her cap” for a young 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.]

Pondering Cap

To place on your “contemplating cap” is to give some trouble very careful assumed. [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, etc. refer to nefarious actions or layouts. [Black hats in Western lore and literature were the bad guys.]

White Hat . . .

Despite the fact that I you should not see or listen to this expression as substantially as “Black Hat”, it merely is the reverse of the previously mentioned. [Good guys wore/wear white hats.]

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