hang on to your hat

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hang on to your hat

Also, hold your hat. An expression warning someone of a big surprise. For example, Hang on to your hat, we're about to go public, or Hold your hat-we just won the lottery. This expression may allude, according to lexicographer Eric Partridge, to a wild ride on a rollercoaster. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
See also: hang, hat, on
References in classic literature ?
Hold your hat over your wrists, if you don't want her to see the handcuffs.
Hold your hat in one hand, and clap t'other a'top of your heart, when I'm giving my orders, cook.
Sam struggled across the Downs against a good high wind, wondering whether it was always necessary to hold your hat on with both hands in that part of the country, and came to a shady by-place, about which were sprinkled several little villas of quiet and secluded appearance.
Vote Labour and hold your hat for a sterling crisis.