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QUICK QUOTE

Idiom

Take Your Hat Off: Origin and Meaning

Meaning
If you “take your hat off” to someone, it means you admire or respect them, or something they have done.
Origin
Take your hat offSince Medieval Times, it has been a sign of respect to take off your hat. It started when people removed their hat when entering a church to show their respect for God. Men then started to take their hats off when they went indoors, when they passed or spoke to a woman or when something or someone deserved respect or honour (e.g. a war hero or a flag). These days, people still literally take their hat off when they admire someone or something but it is also used as an expression – if someone respects something you have done, they might say “I take my hat off to you”, even if they are not even wearing a hat!
Examples
“I have to take my hat off to you – how do you manage to look after 2 small children and have a full-time job?”

“So Lisa does voluntary work for charity every weekend? Wow, I take my hat off to her!”

You can also say “hat’s off” to someone:
Hat’s off to Sarah for cooking such a great dinner!”

“It takes a lot of courage to go travelling on your own – hat’s off to you!”
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