Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hat n.

[all things that are ‘put on’]

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

[UK] ‘Old Hat’s The Very Thing We Like’ in Ticklish Minstrel 29: There’s boss-eyed Peg has got a hat / So very tight and small, / There’s scarcely any man, in turn, / Can fit it on at all. / And Suke, her rare old hat’s quite bare, / But open as a lane.
[UK] ‘Mother H’s Knocking Shop; or, A Bit Of Old Hat!’ in Gentleman’s Spicey Songster 44: A jolly fat parson, once happen’d to pop / Into Mother H’s famed knocking shop, / For a bit of old hat, he felt inclined.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 534: [...] ca. 1760–1830.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 39: Beaver also is shorthand for beaver hat, and hat is another old byword for the female genitals.

2. a prostitute.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 534: [...] ca. 1820–1910.

3. (US) a general term for sexual intercourse.

[UK]Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 15: Antiquaille (Sonner l’). To copulate; ‘to wear an old hat’.
[Aus]O’Brien & Stephens Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 84: Hat, old a diggings and general nickname for sexual intercourse.

4. (US) a bribe.

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 108: When you get a hat it means $5 in cash see. They never give you a hat.
[US]D. Burke Street Talk 2 71: Hat – $25. A bribe or gratuity often given to a police officer.

5. (US prison) a male homosexual.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 91/2: Hat (a ‘hunk of hat’). A passive pederast; a fag; a loose woman. ‘Mickey’s partner (criminal associate) turned out to be a hunk of hat in the big house (prison).’.

6. (US black) a woman, esp. a wife or sweetheart; thus wear a hat, to be married or have a girlfriend.

[US]E. Horne Hiptionary 8: hat: girl, chick, wife.

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

[US]Boogie Down Prods. ‘Jimmy’ [lyrics] Do me a favour, wear your hat / So Jimmy . . . will have the opportunity to come back.
[UK]J. Mowry Six Out Seven (1994) 361: I want me some real black cunt, out no goddam hat on my dick!
[US]Big L ‘Ebonics’ [lyrics] Condoms is hats.
[UK]‘Skepta’ ‘Single’ [lyrics] Before you knock boots / Make sure you put on your hat / With your birthday suit.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 30: I’ll find [...] somebody clean, but wear a hat anyway. Never know with those broads.

8. (orig. US) the head.

[US]L. Heinemann Close Quarters (1987) 19: The first dude that fucks with me, I’m gonna crack his hat in two.
150 ‘4 Door Truck’ [lyrics] Get blammed on the mains in the face, my niggas trynna take off hats.

9. (US) hair.

Online Sl. Dict. [Internet] hat n 1. hair or hair style. (‘He’s got a bad hat today.’).

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

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall.
[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 64: ‘A stereotypical fraternity member’ [...] is a hat, from the fashion of wearing baseball caps.

SE in slang uses

In derivatives

hatful (n.)

(Aus.) a large amount, usu. of money.

[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 16 May 41/4: Accordingly we put a hatful on her and her price shrunk like a cheap shirt.

In compounds

hat-making (n.)

(UK Und.) stealing hats.

[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 16: Groaners – a sort of wretches who attend meetings [...] They also rob the congregation of their watches, as they are coming out of church; exchange their bad hats for good ones – jocosely called hat making.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open [as cit. 1835].
hat mystery (n.)


[US]St Louis (MO) Globe-Democrat 31 Aug. 10/1: Such cries as [...] ‘ham and’ for ham and eggs, ‘hat mystery’ for pie, and similar expressions are heard constantly.
hat-peg (n.) (also hat holder) [that which one ‘hangs’ one’s hat on]

(later use US black) the head.

[UK]Dickens Oliver Twist (1966) 398: They’d got their footmen to hang ’em up to their own hat-pegs.
[US]Berrey & Van den Bark Amer. Thes. of Sl. 121.56: Head [...] hat peg or rack.
[US] in DARE II 919/2: hat holder.
hat-rack (n.)

1. (Aus./US) a scraggy animal, usu. a horse.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 2 Apr. 9/3: After many long months of traveling, during which period his horse had become like a hat-rack.
[US]Nat. Republican (Wash., DC) 24 June 8/4: The animated hat-racks that are called horses.
[US]Wichita Eagle 29 May 2/6: The ancient gig was restored to its maison de santé, and the hat-rack of a horse to its stall.
[US]Sacramento Daily Record-Union 11 Jan. 2/4: The horses [...] were sold in the city pound. and Laporte, for $5, became the owner of a perambulating hatrack.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 10 May 6/2: It turned out that the old hatrack was 30 years old.
Virginia Gaz. 31 Oct. 5/2: You marched into Newport News with fifteen horses — or hatracks — ambling behind you.
[NZ]Adventure July 476: I thought you had your old hat-rack all ready to gallop to Burke’s? [HDAS].
[US](con. WWI) T. Fredenburgh Soldiers March 194: It’s these hat-racks in harness that worry me. Look at ’em; every nose in the mud and sagging at the knees [HDAS].
[US]‘Bill O. Lading’ You Chirped a Chinful!! n.p.: Hatrack: A horse.
[US] in DARE.

2. the head.

[US]A.J. Barr Let Tomorrow Come 27: Don’t go haywire, Joe. Use your hatrack.
[US]Berrey & Van den Bark Amer. Thes. of Sl. 121.56: Head [...] hat peg or rack [DARE].
[US]L. Hairston ‘The Winds of Change’ in Clarke Harlem, USA (1971) 317: You slick-headed ditty-bop, if you spent half as much time tryin’ to put something inside that worthless hat-rack as you did havin’ your brains fried—.
[US] in DARE.
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]

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

[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 206: hat time, n. – quitting time in the field; when the captain takes off his hat and waves it.
[US]J. Maryland ‘Shoe-shine on 63rd’ in Kochman Rappin’ and Stylin’ Out 214: The players all started heading for the door, stating, ‘Peace,’ ‘Later,’ ‘Hat time,’ ‘I’m in the wind,’ etc.
hat-tree (n.)

(S.Afr. gang) one who is wearing any form of headgear.

[SA]B. Setuke ‘Dumani’ in Mutloatse Forced Landing 66: Most of the ladies who travel by train have had their wigs, turbans, chiffons and other types of head-gear snatched. They [hooligans/tsotsies] call passengers who wear head-gear ‘hat-trees’.

In phrases

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

1. (US black) to leave, esp. to leave quickly.

[US]Current Sl. I:2 2/1: Check hat, v. Prepare to leave.
[US]S. Greenlee Spook who Sat by the Door (1972) 31: I ain’t on junk and I can always get my hat and make it to Baltimore, dig.
[US]J. Webb Fields of Fire (1980) 111: It’s too late. They gotta make their hat most ricky-tick.
[US](con. c.1970) G. Hasford Phantom Blooper 18: I stand by to make my hat most ricky-tick.

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

[US] ‘Kitty Barrett’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 53: I hope this toast helps you when they give you your hat.
hat (up) (v.) [one puts on one’s hat]

(US black) to leave, to exit.

[US]Current Sl. V:2 8: Hat, v. To leave.
[US]L. Heinemann Close Quarters (1987) 137: Let’s hat up, hey. Let’s get the fuck outa here.
[US](con. c.1967) J. Ferrandino Firefight 143: Why don’t we just hat up to the meeting place as quick as we can.
have one’s hat nailed to the ceiling (v.) [the excitement so produced]

(US) to be fellated.

[US] (ref. to 1868) N. Kimball Amer. Madam (1981) 89: A guest could [...] have his joint copped, or be blown, or have his hat nailed to the ceiling.
[US]L. Paros Erotic Tongue n.p.: The professionals helped forge a common tongue. A man now had his joint copped, had some derby, or had his hat nailed to the ceiling. More frequently, men spoke of being blown or having a blow job (all since early 20th C).
have one’s little hat on (v.)

to be drunk.

[US]Pennsylvania Gazette 13 Jan. 3/1: He’s Got on his little Hat .
[UK] Gent.’s Mag. Dec. 559/2: To express the condition of an Honest Fellow [...] under the Effects of good Fellowship, [...] it is also said that he has 49. Got his little hat on .
[UK]C.L. Lewes Comic Sketches 26: While others would say he had, ‘Bung’d his eye — Was knocked up — How came ye so — Had got his little hat on — Top-Heavy — Pot- Valiant — That he had been in the sun — That he was in for it’.
knock someone’s hat off (v.)

to astonish, to amaze.

D. Teach ‘Wurlitzer 10-Tune A.P.P. Roll Recutting Project’ Mechancial Music Digest Archives 3 Aug. [Internet] I personally never really cared for march rolls until I heard one of these ten tune Wurlitzer rolls and it knocked my hat off.
put a hat on someone (v.)

1. (UK Und.) to beat someone, to put them in their place.

[UK]E. Pugh Man of Straw 7: I’d put him in his hat as soon as look at him, and sooner, the wonk-eyed, pig-nosed monkey!
[UK]E. Pugh Spoilers 5: Bli’ me! I’ll put you in your gaudy ’at if you don’t parker quick! [Ibid.] 10: Tell ’em if they don’t ’op it, Bill, I’ll put ’em in their ’ats.

2. (US black) to single someone out for revenge.

[US]Adam-12 [TV script] Somebody’s put a real hat on me [...] Somebody’s accused me of blackmailing them [HDAS].

3. to inform against, to betray.

[US]R. Price Clockers 521: The police told him if he ID’d the shooter they’d drop a homicide charge they had on him. So he went and put a hat on Buddha Hat.
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)

(US) secret.

[US]W.J. Kountz Billy Baxter’s Letters 87: I have something to tell you [...] strictly under your bonnet.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 35: This under yer hat, a’ course.
[US]Goodwin’s Wkly (Salt lake City, UT) 2 June 12/3: He kept the discrepancy between the two weighings strictly under his own hat.
[US]R. Chandler ‘Goldfish’ in Red Wind (1946) 156: All the co-operation you can use, under the hat.
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross Of Love And Hunger 159: They usually keep it under their hat till you start making sales.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Thanks to Jennings (1988) 145: A second course, perhaps, that he was going to keep under his hat till after we’d finished the stew.
[US]R. Prather Scrambled Yeggs 97: Well, under your hat, Louis, a guy got a little murdered.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 12 Jan. in Proud Highway (1997) 432: I am, of course, keeping my opinions on Senor Nixon close under my bonnet.
[Ire]J. Morrow Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 123: I suppose it’s all right to gen you up in the circumstances – but under your hat, mind.
[US]S. King Dreamcatcher 102: I’ll keep it under my hat.
up to the hat (adj.)

(US) full, of food and/or alcohol.

[US]T.A. Dorgan ‘Johnny Wise’ [comic strip] Shay!! Jawn, Hic. I’m up to the hat. Hic.
where did you get that hat?

(orig. US) a general jeer or shout of derision.

[[UK]Western Times 15 Sept. 1/4: [advert] ‘Where did you get your hat? From Thomas, the Practical Hatter’].
[NZ]Thames Star (Waikato, NZ) 11 July 1/6: Slang, my dear? Is ‘where did you get that hat?’ slang?
[US]Harper’s Mag. 87 July 305/1: These mere catchwords of the moment are rarely foul, as the words and phrases of the first class often are, but they are unfailingly foolish. There you go with your eye out, which was accepted as a humorous remark in London, and where did you get that hat? which had a like fleeting vogue in New York, are phrases as inoffensive as they are flat.
[UK]Hull Dly Mail 31 Mar. 2/8: Where Did You Get That Hat?
[UK]Western Dly Press 9 June 10/5: ‘Where did you get that hat?’ Loud laughter and cries of ‘ear, hear’.
[UK]Tamworth Herald 7 Mar. 5/3: You know what the song says —Where Did You Get That Hat?

In exclamations

get hat!

(US black) go away!

[US]H.E. Roberts Third Ear n.p.: get hat! an imperative urging one to leave; get out!
in your hat!

a dismissive retort.

[US]B. Appel Brain Guy (1937) 54: ‘I hear ya got canned.’ ‘I resigned.’ ‘In your hat. You got fired!’.
[US]S. Kingsley Dead End Act III: They hurl a chorus of abuse. milty: Gay cock of’m yam! angel: Fongoola! dippy: Nuts ta yew! t.b.: In yuhr hat!
[US]M. Shulman Rally Round the Flag, Boys! (1959) 62: ‘In your hat!’ replied Oscar promptly.
[UK]J.P. Carstairs Concrete Kimono 178: ‘In your hat!’ I retorted succinctly.