eat (one's) hat(redirected from ate one's hat)
eat (one's) hat
A humorous action that one will allegedly take if something very unlikely happens. Kevin is always late, so if he actually shows up on time, I'll eat my hat.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
eat one's hat
Fig. a phrase telling the kind of thing that one would do if a very unlikely event really happens. If we get there on time, I'll eat my hat. I'll eat my hat if you get a raise. He said he'd eat his hat if she got elected.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
eat one's hat
Declare one's certainty that something will not happen or is untrue. This hyperbolic expression almost always follows an if-clause, as in If he's on time, I'll eat my hat, that is, "I'll consume my headgear if I'm wrong." Charles Dickens used it in Pickwick Papers (1837): "If I knew as little of life as that, I'd eat my hat and swallow the buckle whole." [First half of 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
eat your hatmainly BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If you say that you will eat your hat if a particular thing happens, you mean that you do not believe that it will happen. I will eat my hat if the Social Democrats get in at the next general election. He has promised to eat his hat if he is wrong.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
eat one’s hat
tv. to do something extraordinary. (Always with if.) I’ll eat my hat if our advertisement actually brings us a president.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
eat one's hat, to
To declare one’s readiness to consume one’s headgear if a statement should prove false, an event should not occur, and so on. The likelihood of actually doing so is presumably very remote, which is the very analogy being drawn (to a statement’s being false, an event not occurring, and so on). The expression appeared in Dickens’s Pickwick Papers (1836), in the words of one clerical gentleman, “Well if I knew as little of life as that, I’d eat my hat and swallow the buckle whole.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer