Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hat n.

[all things that are ‘put on’]

1. [mid-18C–mid-19C] the vagina [also abbr. old hat n.; it too is ‘frequently felt’ (Grose, 1796)].

2. [early 19C–1900s] a prostitute.

3. [late 19C+] (US) a general term for sexual intercourse.

4. [1910s+] (US) a bribe.

5. [1940s–50s] (US prison) a male homosexual.

6. [1940s–60s] (US black) a woman, esp. a wife or sweetheart; thus wear a hat, to be married or have a girlfriend.

7. [1980s+] (US) a contraceptive sheath [note Yid. Schmeckeldecke, a condom, lit. ‘cock ceiling’].

8. [1970s] (US) the head.

9. [1990s+] (US) hair.

10. [1990s+] (US campus) a fraternity member [the fashion of wearing baseball caps].

SE in slang uses

In derivatives

hatful (n.)

[1950s] (Aus.) a large amount, usu. of money.

In compounds

hat-making (n.)

[mid-19C] (UK Und.) stealing hats.

hat mystery (n.)


hat-peg (n.) (also hat holder) [that which one ‘hangs’ one’s hat on]

[mid-19C; 1940s–60s] (later use US black) the head.

hat-rack (n.)

1. [late 19C+] (Aus./US) a scraggy animal, usu. a horse.

2. [1920s–60s] the head.

hat time (n.) [note prison farm jargon hat time, the moment when the captain takes off his hat and waves it to signal the end of the chain gang’s working day]

[1970s] (US black) the end of a day’s work, thus used as synon. for goodbye.

hat-tree (n.)

[1980s] (S.Afr. gang) one who is wearing any form of headgear.

In phrases

get one’s hat (v.) (also check one’s hat, make one’s hat)

1. [1940s+] (US black) to leave, esp. to leave quickly.

2. [1950s] (US prison, also be given one’s hat) to be released.

hat (up) (v.) [one puts on one’s hat]

[1970s+] (US black) to leave, to exit.

have one’s hat nailed to the ceiling (v.) [the excitement so produced]

[1910s–30s] (US) to be fellated.

have one’s little hat on (v.)

[18C] to be drunk.

in the hat

[2000s] (US prison) targeted for death.

knock someone’s hat off (v.)

[1940s+] to astonish, to amaze.

put a hat on someone (v.)

1. [mid-19C–1900s] (UK Und.) to beat someone, to put them in their place.

2. [1970s+] (US black) to single someone out for revenge.

3. [1990s+] to inform against, to betray.

talk through one’s hat (v.)

see under talk v.

under one’s hat (adj.) (also under one’s bonnet, ...someone’s hat, ...the hat)

[late 19C+] (US) secret.

up in one’s hat (adj.)

1. [late 19C] drunk .

2. [1920s] (Irish) elated.

up to the hat (adj.)

[1900s] (US) full, of food and/or alcohol.

where did you get that hat?

[late 19C–1910s] (orig. US) a general jeer or shout of derision.

In exclamations

get hat!

[1970s] (US black) go away!

hat up!

[1970s] (US black) go away!

in your hat!

[1930s–50s] a dismissive retort.