go hat in hand to (someone)

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go hat in hand to (someone)

To ask someone for help, often monetary, with embarrassment. Primarily heard in US. I guess I'll just have to go hat in hand to my parents for help paying my rent this month.
See also: go, hand, hat, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

go hat in hand to someone

AMERICAN
If you go hat in hand to someone, you ask them very humbly and respectfully for money or help. The state had to go hat in hand to financiers in New York, London, and Boston to rescue its finances. He won't go hat-in-hand to the White House to ask that sanctions be lifted against his country. Note: The usual British expression is go cap in hand to someone. Note: In the past, it was customary for lower-class people to remove their hats in front of upper-class people. The expression may also refer to the fact that people sometimes hold out their hats when they are begging, for other people to put money in.
See also: go, hand, hat, someone, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

hat in hand, to go/with

To behave submissively or obsequiously; to plead for something (pardon, a favor, and the like). The term alludes to the old custom of removing one’s hat as a sign of respect. “A man’s hat in his hand never did him any harm,” wrote Samuel Palmer (Moral Essays on Proverbs, 1710). The custom of wearing and doffing a hat has become far less common, so the term is dying out, but it is still used in diplomatic circles.
See also: go, hat, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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