Hat Metaphors and Similes


I acquire these. Additions to this record are welcome. Additionally, be aware that in some instances I do not know the origin of a selected expression. You probably have information or theories of origin for something under, I would additionally like to listen to from you. I hope you take pleasure in these.

Speaking By Your Hat

To speak nonsense or to lie. c1885. [In an interview in The World entitled “How About White Shirts”, a reporter requested a New York streetcar conductor what he thought of efforts to get the conductors to put on white shirts like their counterparts in Chicago. “Dey’re talkin’ tru deir hats” he was quoted as replying.]

Consuming Your Hat

There isn’t a such factor as a positive 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 sporting your finest 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Outdated Hat

Outdated, boring stuff; out of vogue. [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, certainly, go mad. They inhaled fumes from the mercury that was a part of the method of constructing felt hats. Not recognizing the violent twitching and derangement as signs of a mind dysfunction, individuals made enjoyable of affected hat-makers, usually treating them as drunkards. Within the U.S., the situation was referred to as the “Danbury shakes.” (Danbury, Connecticut, was a hat-making heart.) Mercury is now not used within the felting course of: hat-making — and hat-makers — are protected.]

Hat In Hand

An illustration of humility. For instance, “I come hat in hand” signifies that I are available in deference or in weak point. [I assume that the origins are from feudal instances when serfs or any decrease members of feudal society have been required to take off their hats within the presence of the lord or monarch (bear in mind the Dr. Seuss ebook “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins”?). A hat is your most prideful adornment.]

Move The Hat

Actually to cross a person’s hat amongst members of an viewers or group as a way for gathering 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 on this case is Richard Cromwell, the son of England’s 17th Century “dictator”, Oliver Cromwell. Richard succeeded his dad and wished to be king however was rapidly disposed. The hatband within the phrase refers back to the crown he by no means acquired to put on.]

Hat Trick

Three consecutive successes in a sport or one other endeavor. For instance, taking three wickets with three successive pitches by a bowler in a sport of cricket, three objectives or factors gained by a participant in a sport of soccer or ice hockey, and so on. [From cricket, from the former practice of awarding a hat to a bowler who dismissed three batsmen with three successive balls.]

Exhausting Hats

Within the 19th Century, males who wore derby hats particularly Jap 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.] As we speak, “Hard 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 buyer wrote us with the next: “I read in “The Language of American Politics” by William F. Buckley Jr. that the phrase “throw one’s hat within the ring” comes from a follow of 19th Century saloonkeepers placing a boxing ring in the midst of the barroom in order that clients who wished to struggle one another would have a spot to take action with out beginning a donnybrook. If a person wished to point that he would struggle anyone, he would throw his hat within the ring.

At one level, Theodore Roosevelt declared he was working for workplace with a speech that included a line that went one thing like, “My hat is within the ring and I’m stripped to the waist”. The phrase “my hat within the ring” stuck, probably because “I’m stripped to the waist” is slightly gross.]

Hats Off . . .

“Hats off to the U.S. Winter Olympic Group” 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 concept you could’t let go of and simply have to specific. [A real bee in one’s bonnet certainly precipitates expression.]

Sporting Many Hats

This after all is a metaphor for having many alternative duties or jobs. [Traditionally, hats have usually been an integral, even needed, a part of a working uniform. A miner, welder, building employee, undertaker, white-collar employee or banker earlier than the 1960s, chef, farmer, and so on. all put on, or wore, a selected hat. Sporting “many hats” or “many alternative hats” merely signifies that one has totally 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 have 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 Hold Your Hat (or not)

To decide to one thing (or not), or stake your fame on one thing (or not), like an concept or coverage. For instance “I would not grasp my hat on George Steinbrenner’s determination to fireside 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 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.]

Dangerous Hat

I consider it is a French expression for a nasty 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.]

Preserving One thing Underneath One’s Hat

Preserving 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.]

Pondering Cap

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 techniques, black hat intentions, and so on. discuss 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. [Good guys wore/wear white hats.]