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Posted by Peter Maple on August 09, 2001

I'm trying to find the Original meaning of the phrase, "cap in hand" (or possibly hand in cap.
People in the disability movement think the origin of handicap is " cap in hand" ie begging and therefore derrogatory. Others say its "cap in hand" as in horse racing where originally jockeys had to hold their cap as a early "handicap". The Oxford Dictionary says, possibly "hand in cap" was an early game - pulling tokens or cards out of the hat - in a "sporting lottery"