At the drop of a hat

At the drop of a hat

at the drop of a hat

at the drop of a hat definition: 1. If you do something at the drop of a hat, you do it immediately without stopping to think about it: 2. easily, with little.

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This phrase probably alludes to signalling the start of a race, fight or other contest by dropping a hat. The earliest reference could be found from a hearing on a bankruptcy law from an Register of Debates in Congress, see this snap shot below:. Drop , Hat. A 3 Thoughts. When I find this page my search stops at the drop of a hat.

At the Drop of a Hat is a musical revue by Flanders and Swann , described by them as "an after-dinner farrago". The songs were linked by contemporary social commentary, mostly by Flanders.
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These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent. The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning. Definition and synonyms of at the drop of a hat from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education. This is the British English definition of at the drop of a hat.

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. It only takes a minute to sign up. I understand the phrase means "Immediately; instantly; on the slightest signal or urging. Alludes to the dropping of a hat as a signal. Since the earliest examples of this phrase in print have no specific mention of fighting, my bet is on the start-of-a-race explanation from James Rogers' Dictionary of Cliches :. In the 19th century it was occasionally the practice in the United States to signal the start of a fight or a race by dropping a hat or sweeping it downward while holding it in the hand. The quick response to the signal found its way into the language for any action that begins quickly without much need for prompting.

Q From Jim Riley : A friend recently said her daughter cries at the drop of a hat. Any idea where this comes from and what dropping a hat has to do with anything? A Many dictionaries merely say that to do something at the drop of a hat is to do it at once, without any noticeable delay. But your example illustrates another common meaning — to do something or other at the slightest provocation. Times are changing and a number of new studies point to an increasingly bolshie consumer willing to complain at the drop of a hat and spend time searching out the best value for money. The Irish Times ; 20 Mar.

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Immediately, without delay, as in We were ready to pack our bags and go on vacation at the drop of a hat. This phrase probably alludes to signaling the start of a race or other contest by dropping a hat.





  1. Julie B. says:

    No one really knows when the use of the starting pistol started to become popular, but we do know that the ancient Greeks and Romans used gates to start races.

  2. Backtaperque says:

  3. Diane J. says:

    World Wide Words: At the drop of a hat

  4. Brooke H. says:

    Chi visita il tuo profilo sindaco di abano terme

  5. Jonathan P. says:

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