take off (one's) hat (to someone or something)(redirected from they took their hats off to someone)
take off (one's) hat (to someone or something)
To praise, salute, congratulate, or pay tribute to someone or something. We all take off our hats to Janet for her recent promotion. I take off my hat to that organization for providing help when no one else does.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
take off one's hat (to someone)
Fig. to offer praise for someone's good accomplishments. I have to take off my hat to Mayor Johnson. She has done an excellent job. Yes, we all ought to take off our hats. She is our best mayor ever.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
take off one's hat to, to
To express admiration; a form of applause. Doffing one’s hat was long a mark of deference or respect, and to some extent it still is, even now that hats are no longer standard attire. The figurative use of the term dates from the mid-nineteenth century. In 1886 Harper’s Magazine stated, “We should take off our hats to them and wish them godspeed.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer